IT WAS a disappointing end to a disappointing season as Kendal lacked the invention to outwit a solid Ilkley defence, despite spending most of the second half on the attack, writes MARK HODGKISS

Kris Bratton returned at fullback and Matthew Charters at No.8 replacing the injured Chris Downham, while Robbie Collinson came in at hooker. The Development team’s Archie Barber came on to the bench.

With the wind on their backs in the first half, Ilkley started well and opened the scoring after five minutes when, after a long build up, scrum half Andy Dixon bounced out of several weak tackles to go through to score.

Six minutes later after more good build up work from Ilkley they added a second try when a long pass opened up the Kendal defence. Charles Ramsey put over an excellent conversion kick from near the touchline.

For once the Kendal lineout was on top, with Alistair Thompson stealing a number of Ilkley throws, but they could not capitalise, with strong defence from Ilkley stopping any progress. Often the Ilkley defence was up very fast, and slow Kendal ball meant that they were able to cut out passing opportunities.

The competitive nature of the game was illustrated by a series of physical clashes between the two sides.

With five minutes of the half to play, Ilkley added a third try, with good passing out of the tackle, opening gaps in the Kendal defence for left wing Struan Conner to score. Charles Ramsey, again made no mistake with a difficult conversion, making the score 21-0. In injury time the battle between the two wings continued and it was Dan Shorrock got a yellow card after failing to heed a warning from the referee to release a tackled player.

In the second half Kendal started well and spent a long period in attack but rarely troubled the Ilkley defence.

But Kirk Chettleburgh managed to steal Ilkley ball and set up an attack with a number of good runs and Mark Irving got to the line, where he was stopped.

Billy Coxon took the ball on, but could not get over and an Ilkley player dived in to kill the ball, giving the referee the decision to give a yellow card. However, Kendal could not make the extra man count.

After 20 minutes Charters was forced off with an injury and Barber came on for his debut.

Dan Wilson was soon in the action and with the ball did well to beat a number of attempted tackles, but he was forced into touch deep in the twenty two.

There were a number of good individual performances from Thompson and Chettleburgh and, while quieter than the last two games, Chris Evans played well, as did Mark Carruthers and Danny Barker. But the team lacked the continuity and excellent support play of their opponents, allowing the Ilkley defence to re-group.

So it’s the end of the league season, but there is one more game to go, with Kendal defend the Cumbria Cup against Penrith at Carlisle’s Warwick Road ground next weekend.

Final score: Kendal 0 v Ilkley 45