Kendal welcomed league leaders Preston to Kirkbie Kendal School’s Cinder Ovens pitch this weekend for what turned out to be a titanic battle. Kendal’s recent performances had been somewhat lacking, and so the home side were keen to give a good account of themselves against top opposition.
The match started with Preston on the front foot. The visitors wasted no time in putting the Kendal defence under pressure and soon took the lead from a penalty corner. The home side reacted quickly and after a shot was judged to have hit a foot on the line, Steve Barclay stepped forth and confidently dispatched the ensuing penalty stroke. It was then The Green’s turn to apply the pressure. Kendal took the lead when captain Nick Davis deflected the ball home from a well crafted penalty corner. The merry-go-round spun again and a penalty stroke was awarded to, and converted by Preston after the ball struck a Kendal defender on the line. Preston then scored another fast goal to retake the lead. Undeterred, Kendal refused to lie down. Breaking quickly, the hosts worked the ball through to Ewan Galloway who pulled wide and unleashed a thunderbolt from the top of the D to level the score once again. The visitors managed to break through the Kendal back line one more time before the end of the first period to take the lead at half time.
Half time Kendal 3 – 4 Preston.
The second half was played at the same frenetic pace. Both teams refused to give any quarter and chances continued to be created at either end of the pitch. Kendal began to gain the upper hand and increased their efforts. Liam Derome drove down the left wing and danced his way past defenders who seemed to be tackling shadows. Derome then found man of the match Steve Barclay open in the D who despatched his first time shot with such power, the keeper did not move until the net was bulging. Unfortunately for Kendal, the visitors showed their class and capitalised on a ten minute one man advantage. Scoring twice while Kendal were a man down, Preston earned themselves a two goal cushion and with time running out it seemed as though the game was finished. However, showing great team spirit, The Greens refused to give up and attempted to pass their way through the Preston lines. Aaron Screen ghosted in-between the visitors defence and finished a quality Kendal move with a deft touch at the front post that gave the keeper no chance. Although dominant at the end, the clock was against the home side and the final whistle blew to find Kendal beaten, but buoyed by a much improved performance and the fact they had pushed the league leaders to the wire.
Final score- Kendal Men’s 1s 5 – 6 Preston Men’s 3s.