Pendle Phoenix come up just short in final of the Lancashire Bowl

OPENING SCORE: Carl Wiseman goes over for Pendle from Tarquinn Hempstead-Smith's kick through
OPENING SCORE: Carl Wiseman goes over for Pendle from Tarquinn Hempstead-Smith's kick through

Pendle came up just short as they travelled to Sedgley Park RUFC to play Birchfield RUFC in the final of the Lancashire Bowl competition.

Phoenix suffered an early blow as, metres from the try line, a serious injury stopped Rob Lawless in his tracks. The game was held up for 30 minutes which unnerved Pendle, and Birchfield capitalised with a penalty.

Phoenix regrouped, and when Birchfield kicked deep, Tarquinn Hempstead-Smith ran the ball back and kicked through for Carl Wiseman to score. Andy Dutton added the conversion and Pendle led 7-3.

Birchfield scored a converted try to regain the lead, and they added a penalty when Pendle were adjudged off-side.

From a lineout on the Birchfield 22, a catch and drive saw Luke McNamee score. Dutton missed the conversion and Pendle still trailed 13-12.

James Redford was then sin binned for being off-side at a ruck, and Birchfield scored an unconverted try just on the stroke of half-time.

Phoenix had it all to do in the second half, but when Birchfield gave away a penalty, Dutton reduced the arrears.

Then excellent attacking play from Sonny Waddington saw him pulled up short of the line, but man of the match Jay Asghar was on hand to score. Dutton added the extras and Pendle led 22-18.

Shaye McCullough found space and scored to make it 27-18, though Dutton missed the conversion. And when the referee adjudged that Pendle had hands in the ruck, Riccardo Ferndizi was sin binned and Phoenix had to play the last 10 minutes with 14.

Birchfield soon scored a push over try, but missed the conversion and the score remained 27-23. However, a quick ball from the Birchfield backs allowed them to score in the corner to take the lead 28-27 in the dying moments to deny Phoenix.