Kendal 11 Lymm 10

THEY came so close to pinching the points at the death, but Lymm were left to reflect on a damaging defeat to relegation rivals Kendal.

Lymm threw caution to the wind to get within a point of their second-bottom hosts and were held up over the line with the final play of the game as they just ran out of time.

As a result, Kendal are now just four points behind the Crouchley Lane side, for whom Matty Connolly scored the only try with Tom Shard kicking a conversion and a penalty.

Coach John Millington says he wants to see more of the fearless approach that so nearly snatched victory in the coming weeks as they aim to stay clear of relegation trouble.

“Firstly, we can't fault the effort and determination applied by the lads,” he said.

“But we must cut out the careless mistakes and panicked decision-making that ultimately combines to seriously hurt us at the moment.

“It took until the 80th minute, with nothing to lose, for us to play without the fear that has consumed us for much of the last few games.

“In the end, we were unlucky not to steal it at the death.

“The boys will continue to work hard to rectify these things and, as a coaching group, we must find a way, very quickly, to allow them to play with that fearlessness for 80 minutes.”

Given the wet conditions that greeted the teams, points were always going to be in short supply.

Kendal kicked themselves into an early lead via a penalty before Lymm got their only try of the game shortly afterwards.

A penalty allowed Shard to boot them deep into Kendal territory and after the driving maul from the lineout was patiently built upon, a series of forward drives eventually put Connolly over right of the posts.

Lymm shaded the following period of play but a crucial error gave Kendal the try they craved.

A pass from the forwards to Shard was too imprecise, allowing a Kendal player to intercept and narrowly win the foot race to the line.

The hosts then kicked a penalty to give Lymm plenty to do in the second half but Shard replied in kind 10 minutes after the restart to narrow the deficit back to one point.

With five minutes remaining, Kendal were reduced to 14 men due to a high tackle – and Lymm sensed their chance.

They were held up over the line as they pressed for the winning score, but time ran out before the attacking scrum could be fed.

Lymm host Kirkby Lonsdale in their next game on Saturday, February 9.

Lymm: Gav Woods, Adam Bray, Jordan Widdrington, Matty Connolly, Aaron Rasheed, Jake Ashall, James Pitcher, Joe Watson; Tom Shard, Tom Bray; Cormac Nolan, James Kimber, Ben Stansfield, Luke Richards, Scott Redfern. Subs: Rob Makin, Matty Hand, Tom Baker