Kendal Defence Holds Out Wirral
By Andrew Broadbent
A disappointing game for the home side as the Cumbrians take the points they desperately need.
In recent matches Wirral have had the opportunity to win but have not been able to control the situation and last Saturday was another case in point notwithstanding the injuries which were incurred during this game.
Despite 5 regular players being injured the team was again changed from that originally selected and was as follows:
1. Paul Lewis
2. Stuart Grattan 3. Ryan Higginson
4. Haydn Long 5. Ryan Stead
6. Mike Warren
7. Tom Parry
8. Rob Pearl
(c) 9. Joe Murray
10. Chris Crowley
11. Matt Loon
12. Chris Speed
13. Mark Williams
14. Sam Broadbent
15. Dan Harvey Subs: Dan Light, Josh Connolly and Dan Carroll
Wirral played towards the road in the first half against a slight breeze and were soon on the attack but after 1 minute there was a 6 minute hold up due to injury to Mike Warren
, whose knee had slipped out of joint and was replaced by DAN LIGHT, who went to prop with Paul Lewis
moving to second row and HAYDN into the back row. Chris Crowley
made a break only to be hauled down 5m from the line; Wirral exerted pressure and from a subsequent scrum the ball went wide but Kendal were very quick off the line (see later comments) to stifle the attack. Play was looking promising from Wirral’s perspective and with this pressure the breakthrough came after 13 minutes of playing time when Mark Williams
crossed from some 3 metres out, the conversion was missed. 2 minutes later a penalty from in front of the posts by DAN HARVEY increased the lead to 8-0 (15 mins).
The Kendal scrum half, Wayne Ngubane was proving to be a handful and made a number of telling breaks and in the 22nd minute, this player took a quick penalty and caught Wirral out as he crossed close to the posts and was duly converted by Glen Weightman, 8-7. In the 29th minute a further attack from Kendal was stopped but a penalty against Wirral awarded in front of the posts, the penalty was turned down as Kendal needed to maximise the number of tries they scored today and this worked in their favour as Glen Weightman in the act of scoring was pulled back by his collar. A penalty try was awarded and Rob Pearl
was given a yellow card. 8-14. From the kick off, Kendal were immediately on the attack and made ground as the ball went through several pairs of hands before centre , Danny Barker crossed close to the posts and another conversion pushed the score out to 8-21- quite a blow to Wirral who had done so much attacking but not converted this pressure into points. In the minute before half time, Wirral should have scored when with a clear 2 on 1 situation the player tried to cut inside and was tackled and subsequently gave away a penalty which ended the half.
At the start of the second half, Sam Broadbent
came off with a head injury and was replaced by JOSH CONNOLLY and a minute later, DAN LIGHT (prop) was replaced by someone even younger, Adam Don
. In the first five minutes of the second half it was Kendal who settled the quicker and were rewarded with a try from Rob Shorrock after a good inter passing from the opposition and duly converted to give Kendal their try bonus point. 7-28. The rest of the game was all Wirral as they tried to break down the stoic Kendal defence, a kick through by Chris Crowley
almost caught out Kendal with the ball just beating the Wirral winger to find touch. Wirral were now camped in the Kendal 20m area and having conceded 4 consecutive penalties this was too much even for the referee and the Kendal No 8, Chris Downham had a 10 minute rest. At last Wirral were able to benefit from this territory and possession when Paul Lewis
trundled over the whitewash for his first try of the season and Joe Murray
Still plenty of time to play, Kendal were temporarily down to 13 when prop, Jack Lashley was sin binned, this gave Wirral the chances to score but were repelled, they did score but it was disallowed. On observation Kendal were off side on numerous occasions and not seen by the referee and to the extent that at scrums they were barely 4 m behind their scrum which restricted Wirral’s play when winning the ball. To counter this a short kick over the oncoming defence almost brought a result as Kendal again lost the ball. Another Wirral try was disallowed for a forward pass. It was obviously not going to be their day. DAN HARVEY came off with a leg injury and was replaced by Mike Warren
, his knee having clicked back into place- apparently it has happened before.
The extent to which Kendal were having to defend was apparent when they suffered their 3rd sin bin of the second half but still Wirral could not add to their score as they did not control the ball on sufficient occasions when near the opposition line and after a half which lasted 50 minutes, the referee called time for what had been a disappointing game from Wirral’s point of view.
Next week are away at Kirkby Lonsdale and those looking to travel please check the notice board for the time of the coach departure.