Phoenix top of the pile after ending Mossley Hill’s fine start

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Pendle are flying high at the top of the table after a third win in three games against previously unbeaten Mossley Hill at Hodge House.

Phoenix were without captain James Finucane and vice captain James Redford, are were not helped by the withdrawal of a further four players on Saturday morning, meaning Phoenix had to recall Phil Perry from injury early.

Pendle wanted a fast start and got one with strong running from Ben MacDermid, Stuart Riley and Shawn Moss enabling them to edge closer to the danger zone. Phoenix were able to finally crack the defence when quick ball from Daniel Rowland found Carl Wiseman, who fed Liam Canning to exploit the overlap to score his fourth try of the season. Rob Lawless slotted over the resulting conversion, taking Pendle to an early 7-0 lead.

Pendle continued to pressure the Mossley defence, and when Mossley gave away a penalty, Pendle opted to kick for position. The resulting line out saw a catch and drive from the forwards, and when Daniel Rowland saw a gap, he broke and was held up short of the line. Getty Schinkel was in support to collect the ball and drive his way to the line, Lawless adding the conversion.

Phoenix, however, became complacent for 10 minutes, which quickly resulted in two unconverted tries.

Pendle woke up, and great turnover ball from Liam Canning allowed Shaye McCullough to launch a counter attack. When excellent interplay from Sonny Waddington, Rob Lawless and Carl Wiseman left Mossley struggling to fill big holes in their defence, Nick Martin exploited the overlap to score. Lawless’ kick was good for a 21-10 half-time lead.

Both teams went hammer and tongs at each other in the second half. Pendle earned themselves a try scoring bonus point thanks to strong runs from Lee Rowland, Shawn Moss and Jammal Asghar, allowing space for Sonny Waddington to outpace the covering defence. Lawless again kicked the conversion.

Mossley responded with a quick tap from a penalty, scoring under the posts, adding the extras to make it 28-17.

The points were secured when Waddington was given the ball in space and again raced away to score, Lawless making it 35-17.

Crown Hotel forward of the match was Stuart Riley, and half backs man of the match was Carl Wiseman.