KENDAL emerged from Saturday's North Women's 2 West home match against Longridge with a 4-1 victory that sees them go unbeaten into 2009 and only a point adrift of leaders University of Manchester with a game in hand.

Illness and injury forced them to field a changed squad for the fixture and after a weekend off due to bad weather, they took time to warm to their task.

Once they settled, Kendal began to turn on some of their best hockey of the season for the many spectators.

The forward line created pressure on the Longridge defence from the start and Kendal took the lead through Nicola Conway's superb strike.

The visitors' keeper thwarted several other chances until a breakaway offered a fantastic chance for Kendal's Kirsty Ormrod, who knocked the ball with the stranded keeper committed on the floor.

Longridge replied with a goal of their own and Kendal had to defend in depth for a spell before a well-worked move ended with the ball in the net only for it to be disallowed, leaving them 2-1 ahead at half time.

The second half panned out in Kendal's favour. Excellent linking up front from Jones and captain Martindale led to a series of attacking chances. Kendal's player of the match Conway netted her second and Louise Whitely added to the scoresheet to leave Kendal 4-1 ahead come the end of a good-natured fixture that rewarded a very positive team effort.

Weekend of two halves for Kirkby A BUSY weekend brought mixed fortunes for Kirkby Stephen first team with North Women's West 2 matches on both Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday saw Kirkby face Wigan and they created numerous chances to score from the off.

Once ahead, Kirkby proved to be unstoppable with goals coming from every angle thanks to excellent passing play through the midfield.

Wigan also created chances, but the Kirkby showed grit and determination and the defence stood strong to fight off the attacks.

A 6-0 victory was Kirkby's reward with the goals shared between Claire Smithson, Mel Earl, and Ruth Lawler.

With morale high, Kirkby went into Sunday's game against Manchester University with great enthusiasm and fortitude.

However, the University team did not allow for Kirkby to play the attractive hockey they had done the day before.

As a result the University were a goal to the good at half time, but Kirkby dug deep and clawed their way back on level terms with an Andrea Dixon goal.

It looked like the game would finish in a draw. However, the younger, more practiced University team shone through, clinching a 3-1 win in the end.