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Pendle Phoenix end 18-month unbeaten record of Thornton Cleveleys
4:05pm Tuesday 11th September 2012 in Sport
PENDLE Phoenix stunned Thornton Cleveleys to end their 18-month unbeaten record and, in the process, made it two wins out of two in North Lancs Division Two.
Phoenix showed great heart to battle back from 17-7 down against a side who had not tasted defeat in a year and a half.
The home side must have thought they were on their way to another victory when they capitalised on some sloppy Pendle play to score the game’s opening try which was converted to go 7-0 up.
But Pendle regrouped and it wasn't long before the scores were levelled when hard, straight running from Ricardo Ferndizi, Jay Ashger and Nick Martin drove the Thornton defence into their 22 and quick thinking from scrum half Danny Rowland saw him squeeze through a small hole to score under the post.
James Redford converted to level the scores at 7-7.
Both sides were committed to playing running rugby but excellent runs by Danny Owen, Jonny Harper and Rob Lawless came to nothing as Thornton’s defence stood firm.
The home side then regained the lead when Pendle players stopped for what they thought was a knock on, the referee waved play on and despite a fine ‘try saving tackle from Dave Morris the ball was overloaded and the hosts scored their second try.
The conversion was missed but Thornton were in the ascendancy. Some excellent defence from Carl Wiseman, Daniel Edmondson and Tarquinn Hempstead appeared to have kept them at bay but Pendle finally cracked and the homes side crossed for a third try to lead 17-7 at the break.
But Pendle came out fighting straight from the kick off and their early pressure paid off when Danny Owen won a foot race after hacking the ball through to score.
Redford missed the conversion but Pendle were back in the game at 17-12 – and moments later they were in the lead.
Straight from the kick off Lawless collected the ball and kicked it deep to the Thornton full back who tried to counter attack but was superbly tackled by Lawless. Carl Wiseman stole the ball, found Jay Ashger who in turn found James Redford – he appeared to lose the ball in the tackle but he managed to juggle it, maintain procession and sneak in at the corner.
Redford showed superb composure to slot over a monster kick to put Pendle 19-17 up. Now it was Phoenix who had their tails up and Hempstead scored under the post with Redford adding the extras.
Thornton came back strong to score a converted try of their own and then narrowly missed a late drop goal that would have given them the win.
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