KENDAL rained supreme in the face of a downpour to claim a much-needed and tense first win of 2019 as they beat Lymm 11-10 in a must win – or must not lose - game for both teams, as they battle for safety at the wrong end of the table.

Myles Harrop and Steven Nelson returned after missing the trip to Hull, but there was no Zane Buttler or Dini Noyo. However the most significant news was, Kris Bratton was named on the bench, after being out injured since the start of the season.

After a dry morning, the wind and heavy rain arrived for kick off, and did not help either team.

After a nervy start it was Kendal who got the first score.

Lymm were forced to concede a number of penalties which put Kendal on the attack, and then gave Chris Park the opportunity to slot over a penalty after 10 minutes.

Lymm came back, and when Kendal were penalised for obstruction, when trying to attack from a lineout, the Lymm kick was drilled into the corner. Rather than look for a drive from the lineout, the Lymm forwards set up a number of rucks, edging closer to the Kendal line, and finally forcing their way over for the game's first try, which was also converted.

Kendal struggled all afternoon at the lineout, with a mixture of not straight throws, and throws which missed their target, but a lost lineout near the Lymm line got them a crucial try, to put them back ahead.

A Lymm hand stole the Kendal throw, but Kirk Chettleburgh intercepted and raced to the line, and while tackled, managed to get across, without being penalised for a double movement.

As the half came to a close, Kendal had a good period on the attack in the Lymm twenty-two, and whilst they could not get across the line, it did offer an opportunity for Chris Park to extend the lead with a second penalty to make it 11-7.

There was no further scoring in the half, but Lymm narrowed the gap with a penalty after 10 minutes of the second half, when the Kendal backs were caught coming up too fast and it was 11-10.

This sparked a double change for Kendal, with Ben Dixon coming on for Steven Nelson, but the one that the Kendal support had been looking forward to, saw Kris Bratton make his return, in place of Chris Park.

With five minutes to play, Kendal made a final change with Jack Lashley coming on for Mark Irving.

Shortly afterwards, Glen Weightman launched a kick into the Lymm twenty-two, which the defender seem to knock-on, and when the referee blew, it seemed it would be for a Kendal scrum or penalty, but instead he yellow carded Chris Downham, and awarded Lymm a penalty to clear.

Despite being behind, Lymm did not look to spread the ball, and had regularly put short kicks to touch, probably knowing they stood a good chance of regaining the ball.

It was not until injury time that they set up a passing move, which went from deep in their half to the Kendal line, needing a number of last gasp Kendal tackles. When the referee blew to say the ball had not been grounded, rather than award an attacking scrum, to the relief of Kendal support, he blew for full time, to give the team a much needed win, and limited the visitors to a single point.