KENDAL RUFC survived a second half collapse to remain top of the North West One division with a 25-22 win against Eccles.

It was almost the perfect start for table-topping Kendal with James Gough breaking down the right, but he opted not to offload to Nathan Wooff and was caught. The referee however ruled Gough was halted by an illegal challenge allowing Glenn Weightman to open the scoring with a penalty.

Visitors Eccles were the first to register a try though, with a break down the left wing coming from the back of a scrum giving them a 5-3 lead.

That lead was short lived. From the kick Liam Hayton was quickly through to steal the ball, and Zane Butler made a break down the left where Eccles were caught offside conceding a penalty, but using the advantage played, fullback Chris Park made a break through the centre. But when he was stopped short of the line, the forwards failed to arrive to support him in his drive, so Kendal were forced to come back for the penalty that Weightman duly converted.

The game's first try eventually came on the half hour mark. Matty Houghton led break and the ball eventually made its way to Weightman. He exploited a gap in the defence to weave through, and when stopped just short of the line reached over to score. He then converted his own try.

Jack Lashley then added a second after Kendal collected a poor line-out after Weightman had kicked a penalty into touch. Weightman successfully converted for a 20-5 half time lead.

The second half started with few opportunities until Butler went over in the right corner to give a 20-point lead. Things then started to unravel as the atmosphere heated.

With twenty minutes to go, Kendal were reduced to fourteen men, as Hayton was issued with a yellow card.

The backs continued to try to attack, but were not getting support from the forwards at the breakdown, and when Damian Armstrong was left isolated, Eccles stole the ball and moved it to the right for a converted try.

Kendal were immediately under pressure again after a poor kick-off, giving Eccles a scrum on halfway. Kendal then conceded a penalty and Eccles drove to the line for a try in the right corner. A failed conversion left the score at 25-17.

Another unconverted try brought Eccles to within three points soon after Duncan Green had been yellow carded.

Kendal held on to keep their grasp of top spot, but without the bonus point rivals Kirkby Lonsdale were able to close the gap to just two points.