Eccles 1st XV 12 Kendal 1st XV 32

Kendal’s ‘Sweet’ Success
Was the battle of the two Cakes, Eccles and Kendal as the two sides took to the field on Saturday at Gorton Street….From the outset it looked as Eccles had left their heads in the oven as it was the Westmorland outfit who hit the ground running.
From the kick off Kendal went through the hands to stretch the home side for the opening exchanges but Eccles stood firm and only conceded an early penalty. With some possession, the home pack started to exert a tad of pressure only to let some poor handling turn over the ball cheaply which resulted with the visitors going in for the first try.
Soon after some suspect defence, Kendal broke again and went in for their second try of the day and it looked a long afternoon was ahead at 17 – 0 down.
Eccles were guilty of poor decision making and ball retention, aimless kicking and lacklustre defence which was epitomised when while winning their own scrum with ease, to cough up possession for not releasing at the first breakdown heaped pressure into the corner for Kendal to go near from pressure at the lineout.
Finally, after some surging runs in the centre from Lee Robson, well supported by the pack with Cahill and Spooner leading the way, field position was gained and the forwards could now put the visitors under some sustained pressure – sure enough, after a couple of efforts, was the veteran Glen Cahill who dropped on the ball to the crowds surprise, from a pushover five out to go in 22 – 5 down at the half time whistle.
Kendal started the second half well however Eccles sensed the game was still there and from more good play from the ‘Brothers Oakey’ field position was gained and some good interplay from all the pack resulted in Mark Greenhalgh crashing over to narrow the score and sew a few seeds of doubt and frustration into the opposition resulting in the visitors going down to fourteen men.
Eccles were in control for the next ten minutes, but a number of handling errors, kept them from scoring, whilst Kendal’s problems in the lineout and with kicks to touch returned, meaning they could not escape their half. Kendal slotted a penalty to calm a few nerves after more positive play from Eccles and a definite sense of optimism from the on looking crowd.
This optimism soon went after Cahill saw yellow after questioning the validity of a touchline decision and from a resulting penalty Kendal went out to 25 – 12 to make the possible seem improbable and after forcing a scrum after a charge down, Kendal went in for a bonus point try which was converted out wide and Eccles could only look on at what could have been..
Eccles will look back at what could have been, dominant in the set piece, some surging line breaks and spirited in defence however at this level, to spill cheap ball and not value possession will only see opposition growing in confidence.
Sean Griffin