Pendle Phoenix claim derby victory

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Rugby was the winner as Pendle Phoenix travelled the short distance to Holt House to play Colne and Nelson in a long-awaited local derby.

Phoenix won 31-6, but both teams tried to play open rugby on the small waterlogged pitch.

Early on, the All Blacks drove hard at the Phoenix line but were driven back by a well-organised defence.

Pendle drove the Colne pack off their own scrum ball, and two quick passes found Shayne McCullough with enough space to step around the defence to score the first try, Rob Lawless adding the conversion.

Colne were awarded a penalty when a Pendle player did not roll away after a tackle, which left the half time score 7-3 to Pendle.

Phoenix turned over the ball straight from the restart and the forwards drove the ball deep into the Colne defence, where they recycled the ball to Ben Peverley, who drew the defence and slipped the ball to Danny Rowland to score a second try for Phoenix.

Pendle were now in full control at the scrum and continued to drive the Colne pack backwards, which allowed Pendle the space for their backs to put Tee Hempstead in for a well-worked try. Lawless converted.

Colne never gave up and were awarded another penalty after a Pendle player was caught off-side at a ruck, but rather than run the ball Colne opted for the kick to reduce the score to 19-6.

At the next scrum Phoenix stuck back by driving the All Blacks back over their own try line, and Aldo Trapanese was on hand to score.

Pendle continued to apply pressure and only strong tackling by the Colne backs stopped them scoring a further three tries.

The final score came from quick ball at a scrum, and the back line moved the ball wide for Sonny Waddington to score in the corner, Lawless converted from the touchline.

Pendle scored maximum bonus points for scoring five trys, but both teams should be congratulated for the way this derby game was played - hard, physical but in the spirit of rugby.

Pendle’s Trapanese was named the Crown Hotel man of the match trophy.

Phoenix play host to Manchester Medics tomorrow, kick-off 3 p.m. at Hodge House, wile Colne host Chorley, also at 3 p.m.