Kendal 15, Harrogate 21.
WITH Kendal already relegated, their final home match had more significance for visitors Harrogate who needed maximum points to retain National League 2 status.
The game started badly for Kendal when they went down to 14 men from the kick off with flanker Ben Craghill yellow carded for a high tackle.
Harrogate flanker James Tyson opened the scoring after fifteen minutes when poor Kendal tackling allowed him to make a break through the centre for a try, which was converted by right wing Jack Latus.
A good break down the left by hooker Aarin Yorke was ended on the line, and he had to leave the field with an injury. But the run had set up a position in the Kendal 22 and from the scrum, a short pass found outside half Dickie Davies who powered over for the second converted score to make it 0-14.
With half an hour gone more poor tackling allowed Tyson his second try as he stretched to ground the ball when held close to the line. Latus converted to extend the lead to 0-21.
Kendal finally started to gain more ball and came back into the match. However too often the forwards took the ball through a set of moves too many, and the ball was either lost or stolen.
Five minutes into first-half injury time Kendal were rewarded with a score after two pieces of skill from centre Dave Barton. First he intercepted a Harrogate pass, then after the ball was taken on by outside-half Mark Ireland, he was again on hand to put a chip through to the try-line, where Harrogate defenders fumbled and Kris Batten scored, making it 5-21 at half time.
Kendal came out for the second half a different team and dominated.
After 15 minutes the forwards drove over for a try by Liam Hayton to narrow the gap to 12-21 with a successful conversion from Ireland.
Kendal had a let-off when, with Harrogate’s only real attack of the half, replacement outside half Callum Irvine broke through, but his pass was fumbled by winger Latus.
After more Kendal pressure, having earlier missed a long range penalty, Ireland was successful with a drop goal to bring Kendal within six points of Harrogate and 10 minutes on the clock.
Kendal looked for the winning score, but were again reluctant to give the ball to the backs. An opportunity seemed possible when a penalty into the 22 set up an attacking line-out, but the referee spotted obstruction and Kendal’s last chance was gone.
Good second half performances from replacements Danny Redhead and Alistair Thompson showed promise for next season, but poor tackling and a failure to give quick possession to their wings cost Kendal a game that was within their grasp.