Pendle Phoenix held by Eagle

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PENDLE played host to third place Eagle in a no quarter given battle at Hodge House.

Phoenix started to attack straight from the kick-off, moving the ball wide for Rob Lawless to outpace the defence and score under the posts.

Unfortunately the touch judge ruled that Lawless had put a foot in touch, and a line out was given 60 metres back down the field.

Eagle mounted an attack from the line out, but could not break the Phoenix defence, which was lead by skipper Jonny Harper.

The ball was then turned over, and two quick passes found Nathan Peverley in space, he then drew his man then slipped the ball to James Redford, who side stepped his way through the opposition to score and give Pendle a five-point lead.

Eagle were soon back on the attack, using their hard-running centres to eventually create space and score in the corner.

The conversion was successful, giving Eagle a two-point lead at half-time.

At half-time Pendle were forced to make changes when Redford and Wiseman had to leave the field due to injuries received in the first half.

Eagle came out the stronger side in the second half and soon stretched their lead, having been awarded a penalty due to Pendle being off-side at a ruck.

Pendle, however, then started to apply pressure through the forwards, and at the next line out stole the ball and allowed their fast hands to be used, which gave Nathan Peverley the opportunity to round off a well-executed move to score in the corner.

The score was now 10-10, and with everything to play for at this stage of the game, it was no place for the faint-hearted as the tackles really started getting tasty.

Pendle had to reshuffle their back line after an extremely strong tackle on Peverley meant that he had to leave the field, and Eagle were reduced to 14 men when the offender was sent to the sin bin.

Pendle continued to attack the line and were unfortunate not to score when the referee was unsighted to see the next score, but did see another high tackle and sent the second Eagle player to the sin bin, but strangely then awarded the penalty to Eagle, a odd decision but one that all rugby players learn to live with.

Time was running out, and Eagle kicked the ball at every opportunity, running the clock down and securing a draw which sees them move into third place in the league.

The Jura man of the match was awarded to skipper Harper.

On Saturday, Pendle are looking forward to the local derby against Colne and Nelson, kick-off 3 p.m.