KENDAL and Kirkby Lonsdale first teams Hockey squads face off.

The third fixture of the season saw the Greens travel to Kirkby Lonsdale, with the team hoping to extend their good start to the season.

Kirkby started the game well, passing the ball around effectively and despite the greens relentless press, the home side coped well and created a number of early chances. 

Kendal had keeper Rob Cartwright to thank early doors as he produced a fine double save to thwart the Kirkby attack.

Kirkby continued to press but the backline of Blunt, Millington and Hooper stood strong and repelled the counter attacks as a unit.

Half way through the 1st half, Kendal began to settle into the game. The midfield quartet of Addison, Melville, Boyd, and Stanworth took control, passing the ball around efficiently as they looked for a gap in the Kirkby defence. Some strong pressure forced a free hit for Kendal on the left wing. Left back, Jamie Hooper reacted quickly and played a ball to the edge of the D to Nick Davis who turned and slid a ball through to an advancing Matt Marston.

Marston took a moment to set himself and noticed the Kirkby goalkeeper had strayed off his line. Marston applied a composed finish at the near post and jumped for sheer joy as he celebrated the 2nd goal of his Kendal career.

With only minutes left on the clock before half time, Kirkby pounced on a Kendal mistake and two strikers advanced towards GK Rob Cartwright. Cartwright made a superb initial save but the rebound fell to Kirkby who flicked the ball over the Kendal stopper.

The midfield dynamo Mark Addison had tracked back and did his utmost to clear the ball off the line but was adjudged to have stopped the ball on the line with his foot and a penalty flick was given. Fortunately for the Greens, the Kirkby striker failed to make the most of the opportunity as he missed the resulting flick.

By half time Kendal was on top with one point.

Kendal travelled with a big squad and were able to keep the legs fresh throughout the game which proved to be a game changer in the second half.

Rob Wise was tenacious throughout and enjoyed some freedom down the right flank, linking up well with Andy Melville and Kendal youngster Finlay Robinson to create a number of opportunities for the away side. Kendal strikers, Ross and Galloway came close to getting on the scoresheet a number of times as Kirkby weathered the onslaught well.

Midway through the second half, Liam Platt made a crucial tackle before he linked up well with playmaker Ayrton Boyd. Boyd found Melville free who played a superb cross to Noah Ross at the back post. Ross deflected the ball home to increase the lead to 2.

Kendal stalwart Gordon Blunt has enjoyed a more advanced role this season and it was his quick thinking that led to the goal of the game. Blunt set up a free hit on the halfway line and smashed a ball to Davis. Davis turned and threaded the ball behind the back line to Galloway who applied a lovely, deflected pass first time, around the onrushing keeper and into the path of Finlay Robinson who slotted the ball into the net, in devastating fashion.

Kendal’s confidence was up and despite a few more attacks from Kirkby, the away side began to turn the screw.

Man of the Match Ewan Galloway had been a constant threat all game and his hard work paid off late on. Galloway received the ball from Ross on the edge of the D before he powered his way past a couple of defenders and unleashed a thunderbolt towards goal.

The Kirkby GK got a pad to the ball but to no avail as the ball looped up high and came down in the back of the net. 0-4.

Kendal rounded off the win with another team goal. Jamie Hooper started with the ball on the left flank and spotted Stanworth on the right.