Kendal 34-3 Vale of Lune
In recent seasons Mint Bridge has not been a happy hunting ground for the Vale of Lune and their hosts duly continued the theme with an emphatic four-try victory on Saturday.
Vale were unable to recapture the flair and creativity shown in their opening victory again Penrith.
There were a number of mitigating factors but high on the list was the rather lop-sided back division they were forced to field because of injuries and unavailability, then during the second half, hooker and captain Dan Baines, brother Alex, Paul McLaren-Dorrington and Ollie Dobson all had to be replaced.
Kendal struck early when their forwards battered away close to Vale’s line and in the fourth minute skipper Duncan Green surged over, his try being converted by Glenn Weightman as he started a fine day that ended with four conversions and two penalty goals.
The Vale responded to this early setback with a series of attacks into Kendal territory led by Dan Baines but Kendal had little difficult in mopping up the Vale’s efforts and went further ahead in the 11th minute.
Again the Kendal forwards shunted the Vale around and with scrum half James Gough calling the shots the ball was moved quickly to the left where an overlap was created for full back Zane Butler to score wide out, Weightman converted impressively.
As the game moved towards the end of the second quarter the Vale made progress but their best opportunity to collect points saw Ben Dorrington sweep his penalty attempt wide of the target in the 19th minute.
Weightman had no such problems curling over his penalty in the 24th minute, shortly after a yellow card was shown to Dan Baines, but the Vale worked hard to cover his absence.
In the third minute of injury time Weightman added to his tally with another crisp penalty goal.
Vale made a promising start to the second half but it was not long before they were grimly defending their line.
Gaps started to appear and after incessant pressure centre Danny Barker spotted an opening for a well-taken try converted by Weightman in the 56th minute.
Replacement Billy Swarbrick was shown yellow in the 60th minute and four minutes later Kendal secured their try bonus point and it was fitting that the move was begun and finished by the forwards.
From a five-metre line out the Vale were heaved backwards, the ball was protected in a copy book move that ended with flanker Matt Houghton touching down for a popular score, Weightman added the conversion.
In the time remaining the Vale worked hard to avoid a whitewash. They tested the Kendal line and the referee’s patience and after a series of penalties the first points were collected when Dorrington kicked a penalty goal in injury time.
Vale of Lune: Birchall, Harrison, Lomas, Higgin, Ferguson, Owens, Dobson, McLaren-Dorrington, D Baines (capt), Pillow, A Baines, Robinson, Wallbank, Ayrton, Dorrington. Replacements: Field, Swarbrick, Crookall.