Impressive Wirral Win With Williams Hat-trick
The visit to Cumbria results in this season's first away win for Wirral.
Wirral were visiting the impressive new ground and clubhouse of Kendal RUFC which has cost considerably more than the club are raising for the RTR campaign.
Wirral made changes to the side which played Birkenhead Park with Chris Speed
coming in for the injured SAM BROADBENT (hamstring), Tom Parry
and Paul Lewis
were recalled to the back and second rows respectively. The substitutes were Jamie Thompson
, Ryan Stead
and James Reeve
From Wirral’s kick off the ball was won by Tom Parry
and the away team controlled the ball for the first exchanges. In the 2nd minute the ball was quickly passed down the line and created an overlap for Matt Loon
to cross in the corner from DAN HARVEY’S pass. From the touchline, James Annetts
Play was then contained in mid field until Kendal were awarded a penalty and from 21m and 10m in from touch, GLENN WEIGHTMAN obliged for the home side, 3-7 (11 minutes). Wirral then dominated play by playing in the Kendal half and two further penalties were converted by James Annetts
in the 14th and 17th minutes both from the 30m/35m range. 3-13 (18 minutes).
Kendal for their part were not making inroads into the Wirral 20m area as they were thwarted by some keen tackling and lack of control of the ball. Wirral made progress up the field and had a number of thrusts through the forwards to get over the whitewash but were not successful, the ball went wide and a long pass from Craig Harvey
to Mark Williams
left the winger in space to cross quite easily a couple of metres from the corner flag. Again James Annetts
converted from near the touchline. 3-20 (29 minutes). The away team continued to make the openings with Matt Loon
making two strong runs down the right wing only for the last defender to make a last ditch tackle.
From a scrum 20m out the Wirral back row put pressure on the Kendal scrum half and he could only flick it back into space, Kendal kicked for touch under pressure, the kick was caught by Matt Loon
some 40m out, a long pass into mid field to James Annetts
, who made progress before putting in an astute kick down the left wing, where Mark Williams
was quickest to react, kicked the ball over the line and touched down. The conversion from JIMMY just failed. 3-25 (29 minutes).
Having won the ball at a ruck in midfield, Wirral kicked downfield with Ryan Higginson
leading the charge and was on hand to tackle the last defender into touch to set up another attack which came to naught on this occasion. In the period before half time, Wirral were camped on the Kendal line bu could not progress over the whitewash. Half time 3-25.
The second half started in the same vein as the first half finished with Wirral on the attack and in the 42nd minute another astute kick through from James Annetts
saw MARK WILIAMS outrun the Kendal defence to pick up the ball and dive over for his hat –trick and more importantly the try bonus point. From 10m in from touch, James Annetts
was on hand to again convert. 3-32.
Gradually Kendal came more into the game as the forwards controlled the ball and began to make progress downfield, yet still Wirral played their expansive game and a further opportunity for Mark Williams
just went begging when the pass just failed to reach its intended target. Ryan Stead
came on for Paul Lewis
(45 mins). With Kendal attacking the move broke down when DAN HARVEY attempted to intercept but was yellow carded for his efforts. For the next 10 minutes, Kendal were able to put pressure on Wirral in their 20m area and from a 10m scrum the No8 picked up and went wide and fed the fly half, Nathan Woof who scored in the corner, the try was not converted. 8-32 (60 mins). At this stage Jamie Thompson
and James Reeve
came on for Tom Parry
and MATT DALTON.
Kendal were playing with more aggression but could not progress against the Wirral defence. The Kendal No 8, Chris Downham was then yellow carded for taking a man out off the ball. Wirral then had control of the ball in Kendal 20m area for some minutes but could not maul there way over the whitewash despite a number of attempts. The final action of the game came when a coming together in midfield was not seen by the referee and play continued and it allowed the Kendal winger, Kris Brattan to run through unopposed to score under the posts with Chris Park converting to leave the final score 15-32.
The Wirral coach, MATT CAIRNS was pleased with this performance, especially the first half, enabling Wirral to record their first away win of the season given that all previous away defeats had been against teams above them in the league. Wirral remain 6th in the league but have opened up a 10 point gap between then and the 7th placed team.
Next week Wirral are at home against another Cumbrian team, KIRKBY LONSDALE with a 2.15pm kick off.