Burnley & Pendle 36 Runcorn 10
Burnley and Pendle’s final game of the summer season ended in a well-deserved victory against Runcorn.
The much bigger Runcorn side started strongly with the forwards carrying the ball with purpose into the home side's defence.
Only some impressive tackling by the Burnley and Pendle pack, led by Sam Walker kept them at bay.
When the home side did have possession, a series of errors resulted in Runcorn gaining good field position in the locals half.
With the Black and Reds on the back foot, the pressure finally told with Runcorn opening the scoring on the 10 minute mark.
From the kick off, Burnley and Pendle’s fortune didn’t change. With the home side struggling to put a set of six together, only some big hits by Adam and Ben Healy were restricting the visitor’s attack.
Once again, on the back of gifting Runcorn field position, the visitors found a gap in the defence to score once more.
Now it was Runcorn’s turn to cough up the ball. An error from the restart gave possession to the home side within the visitors red zone.
Some solid drives by the home pack set up Matt Crowley to sneak over to open the scoring for Burnley and Pendle to make it 6-10.
The score seemed to spur on the home side into playing a more structured game. With the big Runcorn side now running out of steam, hooker, Danny Rowland spread the play left. Sam Walker, now running wider, had Runcorn on the back foot every time he had possession.
A typical run by Walker split the defence but he was brought down just short of the line. A quick play the ball found Ben Healy running hard to crash over under the posts. The teams turned around at half time with Burnley and Pendle leading 12-10.
An excellent kick off from Shaye McCullough saw the ball bounce into touch.
From the resulting scrum an attacking move orchestrated by Ryan Mirfield found Walker to stretch the lead to 18-10.
And there was a nothe score from the next kick off as they Runcorn defence melted away with Danny Rowland returning the ball deep into the visitors half. Once again, Walker was on hand to finish the attack, 24-10. Runcorn did themselves no favours by kicking the ball out on the full from the restart. With Mirfield now organising the attack, the big Runcorn side were being stretched in defence.
A flowing back line move saw centre, Sonny Bill Waddington, beat the covering defence to stretch the lead to 30-10.
The five-minute spell after the break was totally dominated by Burnley and Pendle, but to their credit, Runcorn rallied and both sides played some good rugby league to entertain the spectators.
Gradually, the fitter Black and Reds asserted their dominance. A penalty in the visitors half was quickly taken and with the Runcorn defence in disarray, it was Walker again who scored to top a fine individual display.
All the home tries were converted by Shaye McCullough with an impressive 100 per cent performance to make the final score 36-10.