PENDLE travelled north up the M6 on Saturday to take on Carnforth and came unstuck.
Pendle started the game the stronger side, and attacked straight from the kick-off, but unfortunately they were denied an early try when Aldo Trapanese was deemed to be held up over the try line.
Phoenix continued to apply pressure through their forwards, who recycled the ball, allowing scrum half Danny Rowland to switch play to the blind side where Shaye McCullough was on hand to score in the corner.
McCullough injured himself while scoring and had to leave the field, replaced by new signing Billy Gardner, and what a great performance it was on his debut.
Phoenix were caught napping from the restart, and when the ball came loose it the Carnforth stand off raced through untouched to score, then converted his own try.
Pendle then lost Liam Canning with a leg injury and once again Pendle had to use Eddie Caddice, another new signing.
After a quick reshuffle Pendle started to string some good phases of play together but could not break through the strong Carnforth defence.
At half-time Pendle used the remainder of the bench to give everyone a run out, and after a mix up in the defence, the Carnforth scrum half dummied and scored a well-deserved try which was also converted.
Pendle’s pack were continuously wheeled at the scrum and this allowed the scrum half to move the ball to his backline, which could only kick for position as Jonny Harper and Sonny Waddington tackled anything that came at them.
Carnforth had a player sent off for stamping, which should have given Pendle the inspiration to launch their backs, but it was Carnforth who did the attacking after a kick and chase move, scoring in the corner.
Pendle continued to attack and never gave up, but it was Carnforth’s day, as they came away with the bonus points, winning the game 26-5.
Pendle take on fourth place Newton-le-Willows at Hodge House tomorrow, kick-off 3 p.m.
The Erectaline Fencing man of the match award went to Trapanese.
FINAL SCORE: Carnforth 26, Pendle Phoenix 5