Pendle Phoenix 15, Mossley Hill 15
Pendle played host to second place Mossley Hill from Liverpool on Saturday and came away with a draw, leaving Pendle in fourth place in the Lancashire 2 League.
The Phoenix side made five changes from last week’s starting line up allowing players to rotate and use the whole squad.
Pendle showed their intent strength from the kick-off and the pressure applied by the forward pack forced the opposition to kick into touch.
From the lineout Liam Canning rose high with the support of Jack Harwood and skipper Dave King, and when the ball was moved quickly down the backline from McCullough to Rob Lawless, the fast hands of Harper found Canning in support to crash over the line to score.
The conversion narrowly missed but it gave Pendle belief in their quality backline.
Mossley Hill did hit back with a penalty when a Pendle player was judged to have held onto the ball after the tackle.
Phoenix continued to dominate a much larger pack with much better technique at the scrum, with a special mention to Ian Wiseman and Ben Peverley who both produced the power to drive the Phoenix scrum forward.
Carl Wiseman and Liam Canning won the aerial battle at the lineout, and accurate throwing from Danny Owen gave the perfect platform from which to launch their attacks.
Only solid tackling from the Liverpool team kept Pendle backs from scoring.
Pendle’s next try came from a charged down kick by Jonny Harper, who raced through to score under the posts to give Shaye McCullough an easy conversion and send Pendle in at half-time with a nine-point lead.
In the second half Pendle brought on Ricardo Ferdenze and Phil Wayne, giving players equal match time.
Mossley Hill started the stronger side and a converted try put them right back in the game at 12-10.
Pendle continued to play an expansive game and were unlucky not to score on a couple of occasions when the final pass just went astray.
The ball was getting out to the wings and both Sonny Waddington and Dave Morris came near to scoring, but strong defensive tackles just kept them out.
Phoenix did stretch the lead when Shaye McCullough struck a penalty from 40 metres to give Pendle a 15-10 lead, but straight from the restart Pendle lost possession and Mossley Hill’s centre stole the ball and raced clear to score under the posts.
The conversion would have won them the game, but luckilly for Pendle the ball sailed wide to keep the score a 15-15 draw.
Phoenix travel away to Division One side Bury tomorrow in the quarter-finals of the Lancashire Plate and will be hoping to claim another scalp.
The Inflamat Man of the Match Trophy was awarded to Pendle’s Jack Harwood.