Vale of Lune slipped to defeat in their big derby clash at Kendal on Saturday.
The Hornets’ pack were always going to be decisive in the outcome of this North One West clash and drove the league leaders to their latest victory.
The Vale opened positively however and were rewarded in the ninth minute when Billy Swarbrick set off on an inventive weaving run for a solo try converted by Ben Dorrington.
Kendal always posed a danger whenever they set up stall in Vale’s twenty two and in the 16th minute they rolled the Vale back with a powerful surge, prop Richard Harryman touching down for the first of his two tries, converted by Glen Weightman.
As always the Vale were fully prepared to move the ball, both Rob Lamberton and Adam Macluskie broke through with confidence but a local derby of such intense historic rivalry would never be played without its occasional feisty passages of play.
It came as no surprise when players from either side, Daniel Baines for the Vale and Kendal’s prop Duncan Green received yellow cards in the 24th minute.
Two minutes later the Vale cut loose, Macluskie and Jimmy Birchall combined in sending Tom Ball racing away for a try converted by Dorrington. Unfortunately the Vale were reduced to 13 players on the half hour when Ben Charnley was shown yellow and they immediately shipped another try when a well controlled forward drive ended with Harryman being credited with the score which was not converted.
Weightman kicked a penalty goal in the closing minutes of the half to nudge Kendal into the lead before pummelling the Vale straight from the kick off.
Desperate defending in the face of a grinding assault was only bound to have one outcome, leading to Weightman kicking a penalty in the 51st minute.
Wave after wave of attacks broke over the Vale but their tackling was courageous and unflinching, unfortunately during a five minute spell they leaked 21 points, 14 of them self inflicted.
Kendal’s magnificent eight surgically drove the Vale over their own line hooker Gary Holmes grounding the ball under a pile of black and amber shirts, Weightman converted in the 66 minute, but their was no respite for the Vale because four minutes later they fell further behind.
A dropped Vale pass was seized on by lock Ben Leacock and scrum half James Gough added to their woes by scooting away for a try converted by Weightman.
One minute later another handling error from the visitors was pounced on by winger Alistair Thompson who snaffled up the loose ball to scamper off for his try converted by man of the match Weightman.
Throughout the second half turf in Kendal territory lay largely undisturbed but it did receive a rare visit from the Vale in the 76th minute which resulted in centre Rob Lamberton cutting inside for a smartly taken unconverted consolation try.