PENDLE Phoenix moved into fourth place on Saturday after a 21 point demolition of Crosby St Mary’s.
The Liverpool-based Crosby were out to secure another scalp on Saturday, but had not planned to come up against a side that would not be intimidated.
Phoenix opened the scoring from a penalty awarded for a high tackle, Rob Lawless converted and three points were awarded.
Two minutes later Lawless successfully converted another penalty with the help of the upright to give Pendle a six-point cushion.
Crosby then tried to batter their way through using their much larger forwards, but the stone wall defence of the Phoenix held out.
Just before half-time a spear tackle on a Phoenix player ended with Riccardo Ferdenzi being sent off, along with Carl Wiseman and Liam Canning being sin binned for 10 minutes, but Lawless gave Pendle a nine-point lead when the penalty for the tackle was eventually awarded.
Pendle were now reduced to only 12 players, but the ferocity of the tackling by the Phoenix players, along with the sheer determination to keep the side from Liverpool from scoring, was a sight to behold.
At half-time the bench of Asghar, Gardner and Craig Wiseman were brought on to inject pace and raise the tempo of the game.
And a counter attack from a kick through ball allowed Wiseman to link with McGladdery, who then found a space in the Crosby defence that allowed a pop pass to Danny Rowland, who pinned back his ears and accelerated through the gap leaving only the full back to beat. A well-timed pass found Danny Owen in support, who dived over to score.
Phoenix had to defend for long periods as the Crosby side mounted wave after wave of attacks, but the Phoenix defence held rock solid.
Pendle’s fitness was now starting to show, even though they were still down to 12 men their strength and determination did not falter.
The two flankers were then reinstated after their sin bin session, and it was now all out attacking rugby from Pendle Phoenix.
Nick Martin started the charge when he carried the ball deep into the Crosby half, and a switch move with Jonny Harper split the defence, with Tee Hempstead on hand to round off the move by scoring under the posts, Lawless adding the extra two points which showed Phoenix run out convincing winners by 21-0.
This game was thoroughly enjoyable to watch, showing the team spirit spread onto the side lines, giving a wave of excitement to their spectators .
Pendle have a rest today but will need to put in some serious work at training as they travel away to Mossley Hill the week after.
FINAL SCORE: Pendle Phoenix 21, Crosby St Mary’s 0