BESTs trophy final 2 s report
Last report of the season
By Mark Hodgkiss(Kendal)
Kendal Development Team 28 v 9 Northwich
The Development Team headed to Wirral RFC for the BEST (Brooke Edgerly Specialist Technical Services) Trophy Final against Northwich. Northwich had also finished top of their Division (Sales Sharks Division 2 South) this season winning, 16 of their 20 games.
At the game against the “All Stars” last weekend, someone had suggested the “All Stars” were trying to play themselves into contention for a Cup Final place. Duncan Green obviously impressed the selectors, as in the absence of Robbie Collinson and Garry Holmes, he came in at hooker.
The opening twenty minutes were even, with both teams having spells on attack, but the defences were clearly on top. Northwich had a speedy right wing, but the Kendal defence made sure he did not get too many chances. The Kendal lineout was on top, with Willie Hintz (?) stealing a number of Northwich throws, but the in the scrum Northwich seemed to have the upperhand.
Alistair Thompson, was making a number of good breaks in the centre, but could not breach the Northwich defence.
The deadlock was finally broken after twenty minutes, when Northwich chose to take a kick at goal after being awarded a penalty, and outside half and captain J.Keller converted it. 0v3
Kendal struck back just before the half hour mark. The Northwich kicker went for too much distance, when awarded a penalty, and failed to find touch. Rob Wightman ran the kick back, and Northwich were then penalised. Nathan Wooff made no mistake with his massive touch finder, taking play deep into the Northwich twenty-two. Duncan Green and Rob Wightman then made no mistake with the lineout, and the forwards drove to the line for the try, with James Thompson emerging last with the ball. Nathan Wooff added the conversion. 7v3.
Northwich struck back in injury time to narrow the gap to a point at half time, which was a fair reflection of a close half. Kendal won a scrum by holding up a Northwich attack, only to be penalised at the scrum, and Northwich outside half Keller stepped up again to put the kick over 7v6.
Early in the second half it looked as if Kendal could extend their lead. Northwich won a scrum by holding up a Kendal attack, but were then penalised for an early drive. From the resulting lineout, the Kendal pack set up a drive towards the line, which seemed to be illegally collapsed, but the referee instead penalised Kendal for obstruction.
Kendal made a first change with Ross McKay coming on for Josh Coyle.
Northwich re-took the lead after ten minutes of the half. Kendal conceded two quick penalties, to allow Northwich to first set up position in the Kendal half, then for Keller to slot over his third penalty. 7v9.
This triggered Kendal to bring on some fresh young legs, in the shape of Richard Harryman (who meets two of the criteria), who was to play a big role in Kendal edging ahead.
Kendal re-took the lead as the game entered the final quarter. There was excellent work by the forwards who pounded the Northwich line, with Richard Harryman, Duncan Green and Rob Wightman all making ground, but the Northwich defence held firm. However there was nothing they could do when Ross McKay (?) broke away to score, as the pack drove towards the line. Nathan Wooff added the conversion. 14v9.
Kendal made further changes with Josh Coyle returning in place of Dan Greenwood, and Nick Carlton (?) coming on for Benji Platt.
The lead was quickly extended, with the pack again driving to line from a lineout. This time Josh Coyle seemed to emerge with the ball, Nathan Wooff added the conversion. 21v9.
Northwich almost hit back immediately. Kendal gathered the kick off well, and made ground, but when the ball came out, a loose pass was intercepted by the speedy Northwich wing and he seemed to have a clear run to the line, but somehow the Kendal defence scrambled back to put him into touch on the corner flag (neutral touch judges, so no question on the decision).
If the first three Kendal tries were down to forward power, the fourth and final score came from a bit of back magic, with an amazing run from Nathan Woof. He took the ball just inside the Northwich half, and managed to weave around a host of Northwich tackles at pace, to power over for a try under the posts. He then converted his own try. 28v9.
Kendal made a further change with Anthony Gage coming on for Dan Wilson.
Northwich looked for a consultation try in the last ten minutes, but the Kendal defence held firm to collect the trophy.