PENDLE bounced back from defeat with this win over Manchester outfit Old Bedians.
Pendle were happy to welcome back Craig Wiseman from injury and Michael O’Hara after a few years away from rugby.
Phoenix weren’t helped with a number of players being unavailable due to injuries and work commitments.
Pendle were hoping for a good start, but after a week’s worth of rain the pitch was looking soggy.
A very wet Pendle team were going to have to get down and dirty.
Pendle started well, and strong running from Dave King, Nick Martin and Shawn Moss set a platform for Daniel Rowlands and James Redford to control the game.
The Old Bedians side were strong and managed to keep Pendle at bay.
However, the visitors gave away a silly penalty, allowing Redford to force them deep into their own half.
A great lineout from James Finucane and Carl Wiseman fed the ball to the hungry Pendle backs, and when Jonny Harper drew two players he popped a pass to Daniel Owen, who powered his way to the line and opened the scoring.
Redford added the extras and Pendle took a 7-0 lead.
This seemed to awaken a sleeping giant in Old Bedians, as their forward started to run hard into the heart of the Pendle defence.
Luckily for Pendle, strong tackling from Luke McNamee, Dave Morris and Jay Asgher kept Old Bedians at bay.
However constant pressure from the away side resulted in them crossing the line, reducing Pendle’s lead to 7-5, though the resulting conversion was missed.
Pendle needed to make some changes, and with O’Hara, Paul McGladdery and Wiseman, Phoenix seemed to get the impetus they needed.
Pendle again started to control the game, but each visit to the opposition 22 amounted to nothing, and the score remained 7-5 at half-time.
During half-time, captain Finucane and vice captain Harper asked the team to play the percentages down in the Old Bedians’ half.
At the restart Pendle did just this, and with Tarquinn Hempstead’s boot keeping the visitors on the back foot, Phoenix were edging further and further into the Old Bedians’ half.
The pressure was telling, and when Old Bedians gave away a silly penalty, quick thinking from Wiseman allowed Rob Lawless (pictured) to score, unconverted, and move Pendle into a 12-5 lead.
With time in Pendle’s favour, and Old Bedians having to throw caution to the wind, it was going to be a tight conclusion.
It was made even harder when Harper had to leave the field with an injury.
Pendle brought on Jake Hussain, and with only three minutes to go, appeared to be seeing the game out without much fuss, until a contentious penalty gave Old Bedians a chance to narrow the gap.
The Old Bedians’ captain chose to kick at goal and reduced Pendle’s lead to 12-8.
Pendle managed to see the remaining couple of minutes out and took the game.
Pendle awarded man of the match to McNamee for his dogged work in the ruck area.
Pendle Phoenix would like to thank WH Petty’s for matchday ball sponsorship.
If you are interested in playing rugby, Pendle are always looking for new players.
FINAL SCORE: Pendle Phoenix 12, Old Bedians 8
You can also ring Ben Peverley on 07977992080.