PHOENIX ran in 15 tries as they crushed Clitheroe at Hodge House on Saturday.
Losing the toss, Pendle were forced to play up field, and their game plan of putting the ball through the hands at every opportunity looked to be dead in the water thanks to the cold and miserable weather.
However, from the start Pendle ignored the conditions and,, throwing caution to the wind, decided to throw the ball about.
It wasn’t long before Phoenix were working their way up the field thanks to strong runs from Carl Wiseman, Jay Asghar and Stu Riley. Dave Morris at scrum half was supplying the backs with clean ball, and this eventually produced an overlap for Daniel Rowland to score in the corner for the first of Pendle’s 15 tries.
The conversion was missed but Pendle moved into an early 5-0 lead.
Phoenix were happy to attack from anywhere on the field, and soon Rob Lawless scored after a break from Wiseman had spilt the Clitheroe defence.
Unconverted, Pendle moved a further five points clear.
Clitheroe were continually looking to break the Pendle defence, but with constant pressure from the back row of Liam Canning, Wiseman and Sterling Ross, the visitors ended up kicking most of their possession away.
When the Clitheroe fly half kicked a loose ball straight into Rowland’s hands, he sprinted away and scored a great solo try to take the score to 15-0.
Straight from the resulting kick-off Pendle spread the ball wide, allowing Daniel Owen to hand off his opposite number and race towards the line. Impressive cover defence stopped him from scoring, but Ross was on hand to collect the loose ball and power his way to the line. Pendle looked good for their 20-0 lead.
The next score showed Pendle’s forwards to be just as strong with ball in hand.
Excellent inter-passing between Wiseman and James Finucane opened up a massive hole for Canning to sprint through and score. Nathan
Peverley finally slotted a conversion between the posts and Pendle moved even further ahead to 27-0.
Just before half-time Phoenix added a further score when Benjamin Peverley crossed the line after fast hands from Andy Dutton and Wiseman created space to score.
At half-time Pendle talked about keeping the ball moving and not slowing the pace of the game as they were in full control at 32-0. Phoenix took this to heart, and five minutes after the break were celebrating yet another try, this time from Nick Martin. Nathan Peverley added the extras and the score ticked over to 39-0.
Though he had been struggling with the boot, Nathan Peverley made up for this with an excellent try after Dutton found him in space and he side stepped two Clitheroe defenders to score untouched. Again the conversion sailed wide and Pendle remained 44-0.
Clitheroe knew the game was lost, but never gave up.
However, with Pendle now feeling invincible, they could not stop the onslaught.
Straight from another kick-off Ross caught the ball and drove hard into the heart of the Clitheroe defence.
Great support from Tarquinn Hempstead-Smith enabled him to race clear and score under the sticks. Nathan Peverley added the extras and Pendle reached the half century mark at 51-0.
Pendle had a scrum five metres out from the Clitheroe line and an excellent back move saw Rowland score his hat-trick of tries. Nathan Peverley quickly converted the try to take Pendle to 58-0.
Nathan Peverley was next to score when he sold a dummy on his opposite number.
Unfortunately this only gave an extra five points as he missed the conversion and Pendle led 63-0.
With Clitheroe now tiring and the home side in complete control, Pendle rang the changes with Wiseman, Jonny Harper, Terry Hardy and Shawn Moss all coming onto the field. Phoenix were hoping for immediate impact and they got it with a quick try from Rowland adding his fourth try of the day. Converted with ease, Pendle climbed to a 70-0 lead.
Pendle scored a further two quick tries, first from Canning to make it his second of the day. This time a change of kicker saw Dutton adding the extras to take Pendle to 77-0. The second try saw Rowland score his fifth try with another successful Dutton kick allowing Phoenix to cruise ahead to 84-0.
The final action of the game saw an excellent cross field kick from Dutton drop into Rowland’s waiting hands for him to achieve his sixth score of the game. With the conversion missed, the final whistle saw Pendle clinch victory with a stunning 89-0 bonus-point win.
The Hayworth Newsagents man of the match was awarded to Nick Martin and Stu Riley for setting the platform for an excellent result and for their hard work up front.
Pendle would also like to thank match sponsors Last Trading Post for the match day sponsorship and continued support throughout the season.
If you are interested in playing rugby, Pendle are always looking for new players.
You can also ring Ben Peverley on 07977992080.