A BRACE of braces from Ryan Bradley and Joe Holden were not enough as Burnley and Pendle went down to Crosby St Marys on Saturday in sun swept Liverpool.
The game started at a frantic pace, as both teams attacked with pace and looked to move the ball wide whenever possible.
It was the Reds who eventually broke the deadlock. After a tackle from Mick McCarthy, the following play saw Joe Holden throw a dummy and sneak over the line. The simple conversion was missed by stand in kicker Steve Harrison.
Crosby were quick to hit back though as the forwards gained territory and got the Crosby outfit near the Burnley and Pendle line. Captain James Smith opted to pass instead of kick on the last tackle and played through hooker James Foy to score in the corner.
Burnley were quick to put the momentum in their favour, introducing powerhouse prop Ryan Bradley, who helped himself to two quick tries – the first an 85 metre sprint to the line and the second a trade mark five metre effort, hitting a superb inside line after crafty play by the Burnley pack.
With the half time hooter soon approaching a bit of urgency was called into play by the Crosby forwards. With Danny Coyne and Stuart Robinson driving forward, it allowed space for James Foy to scoot over from dummy half, converted by Sean Taylor. Burnley took a half-time lead of 16-12.
Crosby started the second half stronger and got their breakthrough when James Smith took the ball to the Reds line and played through man of the match Sean Taylor who stetched out to score in the corner and take the scores level.
Burnley responded quickly however as 16-year-old James Henderson leapt impressively to collect the short kick off and get to within 10 yards of the Crosby line. They were able to spin the ball wide and take back a four point lead through ageless winger Mark Bertenshaw.
Crosby were not going to lie down and forced their way back into contention. Stong running from Tom Corder and Nick Hayes got Crosby into Burnley’s red zone. A quick play from Hayes got John Baybut free and he side stepped the onrushing defender to break through the line and score just right of the posts.
Crosby kept up the pressure and came close to increasing the lead when James Smith grubber kicked the ball behind the line for Chris Jones to touch down, he was howerver just beaten to the ball.
The pressure was maintained, and a strong defensive set forced Burnley to kick the ball from their own half. Sean Taylor collected the kick a a strong hand off and step allowed Taylor to break the line and sprint the length of the field to score under the posts.
Complacency and an increased penalty count allowed Burnley back into the game. Burnley then pressurised the Crosby line and allowed them two more scores, firstly through young Henderson and then through Joe Holden to take a lead of 32-28 with eight minutes remaining.
Crosby went in search of another score and came close twice when James Armstrong was caught just short and then when Jay Corder raced down the side of the field but with the try line beckoning the ball slipped from his grasp.
The resulting scrum forced Burnley to drive up from their own line and a ferocious tackle from centre John Hughes on captain Crowley knocked the ball loose to give Crosby the possession once more. This allowed a quick play and Tom Tinsley played in debutant Ross Green through a gap to draw the scores level. Tom Tinsley was left with a difficult kick five metres in from the touchline. Large cheers followed as Tinsley kicked the ball just inside the far post to give Crosby a 34-32 win.
The B&P man of the match, awarded by Crosby, went to 17 year old centre Jack Wilkinson who seems to be made for Rugby League with with quick hands, tough tackling and line breaking skills.
With just three games to go before the team breaks up for the Rugby Union season, players are asked to give their all at training this Thursday, 6-30 p.m. at Prairie playing fields, ahead of a home encounter against Mancunians RL.
FINAL SCORE: Crosby St Marys 34, Burnley and Pendle 32