Pendle Phoenix battle for deserved draw

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Pendle Phoenix earned an 8-8 draw as they travelled to Didsbury to take on a strong Old Bedians side.

Pendle were feeling confident after the previous week’s away win at Bury, though the earlier encounter against Bedians resulted in a home loss.

Phoenix took the start, Andy Dutton kicking deep into the opposition half, and Bedians took the catch and drove the ball back at Pendle.

A couple of missed tackles allowed Bedians to put Pendle on the defensive early in the first half, but the locals defended well, keeping the hosts out for most of the half.

Pendle had made some good runs into the Bedians half, but passes went astray and knock ons resulted in stalemate.

Pendle were deemed offside at the ruck and gave Bedians the penalty. The kick for touch was good, and put Bedians just six metres out from the try line.

Bedians won the line out and drove towards the Pendle line, and ferocious defending was not going to keep Bedians from crashing over for five points, though the conversion was missed .

Pendle restarted and the rest of the half continued in much the same vein.

The half-time talk was about making the tackles and getting to the breakdown quicker.

A few inspirational words from fly half Dutton put the spark back into the Pendle players, and from the restart set off all guns blazing into the Bedians half.

Pendle were penalised for alleged holding onto the ball at the ruck, which allowed Bedians to clear their lines, putting Pendle back deep into their own half.

The Bedians line out was functioning well, and this one was no exception, but the man with the whistle deemed Pendle offside and allowed Bedians the penalty in front of the posts, to take their lead to 8-0.

From the restart, Pendle took the game to Bedians, and at the breakdown they were awarded a penalty for handling in the ruck, Dutton finding touch close to the try line.

Pendle’s line out was good, and Carl Wisemans catch and the resulting drive gave Pendle their first points of the match when Craig Wisman touched the ball down.

The conversion was wide of the posts, leaving the score 8-5 and the game still in the balance for both teams.

Pendle continued to attack at any given opportunity, but good defence by both teams saw the game running down with the score in favour of the home side.

A couple of driving runs by Pendle’s back line resulted in a easy kick for Dutton, bringing the score to 8-8.

Pendle continued to attack but Bedians defended to the end, as the game ended in a fair draw, with Shaye McCullough the Crown Hotel man of the match.