Pendle played their first game of 2015 away to Mossley Hill and left it late to claim victory.
Phoenix were expecting a lot of rustiness as they had been out of action for six weeks, and knew they were in for a tough test, which was made even harder with 10 players unavailable.
However, Pendle were still hopeful for a good start as they looked to cement their place at the top of RFU North Lancashire 2.
Pendle started the faster of the two teams, and were soon piling the pressure on Mossley Hill’s defence, however, they were well organised and held strong.
Pendle thought they had broken the deadlock when Benjamin Peverley powered his way to the line and placed the ball down.
Unfortunately, the referee missed the grounding of the ball and couldn’t award the try.
Phoenix didn’t have to wait long though, and were soon celebrating when Getty Schinkel scored the opening try of the game.
Steve Kent stepped up for the resulting conversion and slotted the kick between the posts to extend Pendle’s lead to 7-0.
The remainder of the first half was about Mossley Hill’s ability to convert their chances, and Pendle’s inability to convert theirs.
Mossley Hill scored three unanswered tries and Pendle had a number of chances which came to nothing.
Liam Canning, Kent and Lee Rowland all came close to scoring, only to be denied, and Phoenix were staring at a 12-point deficit.
With half-time fast approaching, Pendle knew the importance of the next score.
There were only minutes remaining in the first half when Pendle finally crossed the line after excellent runs from Jay Asghar, Nick Martin and James Finucane.
The smallest of gaps was provided for Schinkel to squeeze though and score his and Pendle’s second try.
Kent wasn’t able to add the extras this time, and going into half time Pendle were behind at 19-12.
The first 10 minutes of the second half saw a number of chances for both sides to add to the score, but neither team was unable to take advantage and it remained 19-12.
With time running out, Pendle had two clear chances to score, but wrong decisions and poor passing meant these chances came to nothing.
Pendle would have been forgiven for thinking it just wasn’t their day, but after a break, Sonny Waddington left Mossley Hill on the back foot. James Redford was on hand to race clear and score under the posts.
Kent kept his calm and added the extras and the game was tied at 19 points apiece.
With time running out and a lot of of tired bodies on the field, Mossley Hill were reduced to 14 men when one of their players was adjudged to have committed a professional foul.
With minutes remaining, Pendle looked to exploit the extra man, but it looked all in vain.
With the final play of the game, Nick Martin drove hard into the heart of the Mossley Hill defence, and when Daniel Rowland was given quick ball, he hit Peverley.
He managed to power through two defenders and popped the ball back to Rowland, who raced away to score a last-minute try and secure the bonus point victory.
Kent missed the resulting conversion, but it didn’t matter as Pendle left Liverpool with a 24-19 victory.
Pendle Phoenix awarded the Crown Hotel forward of the match gong to Lee Rowland for his work in defence.
The Half backs man of the match was awarded to Waddington for his counter attacking and organisation in defence.
Phoenix are scheduled to be in action again a week tomorrow when they entertain Newton-le-Willows.