Pendle Phoenix canter to victory

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PENDLE avenged an early season defeat at Newton as they celebrated their 160th game with a bang.

With Sonny Waddington returning from a six-week tour of New Zealand, Phoenix were feeling confident.

Arriving at Hodge House with only 13 players, Newton were struggling from the start.

Pendle lent the visitors two players, so a competitive game could be observed.

Thanks go to George Butler and Shawn Moss for volunteering to help a team in need.

Following a lacklustre warm -up, spectators would have been forgiven for expecting a very slow start from Pendle.

However, this was not the case as within a matter of minutes, fancy footwork from Rob Lawless enabled him to cut through the Newton defence, only for him to be stopped just short of the line.

Quick rucking from Jay Asghar and Stu Riley allowed Shaye McCullough to provide quick, clean ball for the backs, and Andy Dutton was able to dummy his way through and score the opening try of the game.

Dutton added the extras and Pendle moved into an early 7-0 lead.

Pendle had the bit between their teeth, and the next opportunity came from a turnover from Jay Ashger, allowing Sonny Waddington to return with an unconverted try in the corner. Pendle extended their lead to 12-0.

The first half continued to be dominated by Pendle, and even when Newton made a deep run into the Pendle half, it was quickly returned by Liam Canning.

Beating two Newton defenders, Canning offloaded to a supporting Nick Martin, who was dragged down short off the line, but McCullough was on hand to score. Dutton added the extras and the score continued to tick over to 19-0.

Newton weren’t helped when they lost a player through injury and went down to 14 men.

Finding space with ease, this only increased the number of line breaks the Pendle players were able to achieve.

Running with real purpose, Craig Wiseman broke the Newton defence, and when he offloaded to a supporting Waddington, his electric pace resulted in another try for the home side. Dutton added the extras to take Pendle 26 points clear.

With half-time approaching, Pendle felt there were more tries in the offering. Canning was next on the scoresheet, and this was closely followed by McCullough, who capitalised on a break from Sterling Ross as Pendle went into the break 38-0 ahead.

The second half of the match saw Pendle piling the points on Newton.

Rob Lawless and Ross added to their points tally, while McCullough and Waddington completed a hat-trick each.

Try after try gave Phoenix a lead that had the potential to extend past the century mark.

However, with further injury on the Newton side taking the visitors down to 12 men, the referee decided to call time on the game only 20 minutes into the second half.

Newton proved to be no match for Pendle second time round, and a great team performance from the Phoenix allowed them to settle the scores and walk away with a 71-0 victory.

Pendle awarded the Centurion man of the match to Waddington for his support work and running in the loose.

Pendle would also like to thank match ball sponsors Printing.com for their support.

If you are interested in playing rugby, Pendle are always looking for new players.

You can contact the club by e-mailing info@pendlerugby.co.uk, visit www.pitchero.com/clubs/pendle1 or ring Ben Peverley on 07977992080.