IT was a triumphant return to the Northern League for Kendal on Saturday as they stormed to an impressive five wicket win at big guns Leyland.

The Shap Road side suffered a blow prior to the game when they were deducted three points for failing to attend a league meeting, but they shrugged that off in style to record a memorable triumph.

And new South African professional Wesley Marshall made an impressive debut, bagging five wickets as the home side were restricted to 165-6 and also impressing with the bat as the visitors eventually eased home with three overs to spare.

On a glorious afternoon at Fox Lane, Leyland won the toss and elected to bat, and though Kendal made the early breakthrough when Toby Tyson bowled Karl Cross, it looked to be a good decision as Henry Thompson and Kurtis Watson posted a half-century second wicket partnership.

However, Marshall broke the partnership with the score on 81 as Watson picked out Ryan Shephard.

Leyland dug in again with Thompson and Saif Badar at the crease and edged to 112, but the South African paid man turned the game in Kendal’s favour as he dismissed both Thompson and Badar, the former making a solid 53.

The home side came under increasing pressure and their situation worsened when Marshall dismissed Andrew Makinson who fell to a good catch from Edward Price, but they battled un to end on a semi-respectable 165-6.

Openers Marshall and Saeed Bariwala made a good start to the Kendal reply with a first wicket stand of 30 which was broken when Bariwala picked out Thompson off the bowling of Watson.

Andrew Makinson then trapped Tom Benn before Badar caught and bowled Marshall as the home side fought to get back into contention.

And when Badar went on to claim the wicket of Dan Woods and Thompson bowled Shephard for 2, it was back in the balance.

But then Tom Aspinwall joined Ben Phillips at the crease and the pair dug in and guided Kendal to a splendid victory, Phillips making 53 not out from 86 balls and Aspinwall’ an undefeated 26 off 54 balls.

It was a fine effort from Chris Miller’s side but they face another examination on Saturday when champions Blackpool are the visitors as Northern League cricket returns to Shap Road after a two year absence.