pendle Phoenix scored 100th try of the season as victory over Leigh saw them stay on the title trail.
Four tries in total helped keep Phoenix’s wagon rolling towards the Division 2 North league title, but disguised the fact that the hosts made them fight for every point.
Straight from the kick-off Pendle applied pressure on the opposition line, and Aldo Trapanese dived over to score.
It was the perfect start for Pendle, but unfortunately the referee disagreed and disallowed the try.
The first score came from the boot of Shaye McCullough when Pendle were awarded a penalty for an off-side infringement.
Phoenix soon settled into their rhythm, and the forwards showed that they have good handling skills when the interpassing between them saw Trapanese collect an inside pass from Danny Owen and dive over the line.
This time the try was awarded, and McCullough stroked over the conversion to give Pendle a 10-point lead.
The lead was soon shortened when a misunderstanding in defence allowed the Leigh captain to score under the posts.
The conversion was also successful to reduce Pendle’s lead to 10-7.
Phoenix had to reshuffle the pack after Carl Wiseman had to leave the field with a damaged shoulder, and it took a while for the side to get back into the came as Leigh continued to pressurise the Phoenix line.
Only solid tackling from King, McNamee and Lawless kept out the onslaught from the home side.
The half-time talk was about playing the right areas of the field and taking time to build the score.
At the next scrum, Ben Peverley fed scrum half Danny Rowlands, who danced round two defenders before delivering a well-timed pass to McCullough, who then pinned back his ears and raced clear to score, though, unfortunately, he did not manage to add the extra points.
Phoenix stretched their lead to 18-7 when McCullough slotted a long-distance penalty awarded for a high tackle, which resulted in the Leigh player spending 10 minutes in the sin bin.
Pendle took full advantage of this, and at the next line out, a well-caught ball and driven maul allowed the backs all the space they needed, and slick handling from Taylor, Harper and Waddington saw James Redford round off and collect five points from a fabulous team effort.
McCullough added the extra two points to give Pendle a 25-7 lead.
Pendle continued to play wide expansive rugby, but the final pass just wasn’t there.
For the second time in the match Trapanese scored but the referee once again denied him the points.
Pendle’s final try saw Sonny Waddington side-step his way through the defence to score Pendle’s 100th try of the season, showing the strength of Pendle Phoenix, having scored over 600 points already in their league title challenge.
McCullough once again converted the try to see Pendle run out 32-7 winners.
Tomorrow Pendle play host to Wigan, who sit in third place, looking to stretch their lead at the top of the table with another win.