STEVE Whitehead has reflected on his time at Mintbridge after it was confirmed the Kendal RUFC general manager was to leave the club.

A statement from the club praised Mr Whitehead’s work during his five year stint, when he was also project director who piloted the successful delivery of the award winning and much praised new clubhouse and spectator facilities.

“The board wishes to thank Steve who has worked openly and tirelessly to develop our club and we are grateful for his outstanding commitment” read the statement from Kendal chairman Steve Green.

“We are all agreed that there is now a time for a different direction and both the board and Steve part on very amicable terms and we wish him well for the future.”

And Mr Whitehead, who will continue in his other club post as director of rugby until the end of the current campaign, said he had been honoured to be involved at the club and was delighted to play a part in its development.

“Whilst running any sports club is a very challenging prospect, Mintbridge is now firmly established and well set for the right team to reach its potential and serve our community as hoped,” he said.

“I have very much enjoyed being a part of what was a huge undertaking, and would like to sincerely thank all those who have and continue to support the club through sponsorship or from the terraces and wish all employees, members and board the very best of luck and success going forward.”

Mr Whitehead faces a tough task in his efforts to help steer the club clear of relegation, with the prospects of avoiding the drop receding further after Saturday’s heavy defeat at high flying Billingham.

It had all started so well for the visitors as Matthew Charters marked his return from injury by helping his side win a penalty in the opening seconds which Chris Park converted.

But the joy was shortlived as burly No8 Dan Dixon bagged a try for Billingham after a forward drive.

However Kendal stormed back and retook the lead when skipper Glen Weightman fooled the defence and stole through a gap to score a try which Park converted.

It was end to end stuff after that, but it was Billingham who struck next via Luke Wilson who crossed for a score which was converted by Peter Evans.

The home side increased their lead with a converted try, and though John Dervey and Billy Coxon were still a threat for Kendal, Billingham added two further converted tries in first half injury time.

At 31-10 down, Kendal had it all to do in the second half and it got worse for them when Mark Irving picked up a yellow card and after the home side ran the resulting penalty, they surged over for another try.

Three more converted tries followed, but to Kendal’s credit, they rallied in the final 15 minutes though they were unable to reduce the deficit.

News that relegation rivals Lymm had earned a bonus point win deepened the gloom, and a win is vital on Saturday when Rossendale visit Mintbridge.