Reds finish the season on a high

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BURNLEY & Pendle RLFC proved there were no donkeys in their final game of the season, triumphing on the road against a resiliant Blackpool Stanley outfit.

It was Blackpool who went into an early lead, after the Reds had squandered three glorious try scoring opportunities.

It took until the 12th minute for B&P to find a breakthrough, as Konrad Hill broke down the left, feeding Joe Holden who in turn found prowess finisher Matt Crowley on hand to finish a fine 70m team effort.

Hill tagged on the extras as it looked like B&P were finally about to start playing.

The dominance from the Reds continued, but Stanley stood firm in defence, despite losing there influential, creative stand off and strong running prop forward to injuries.

The only other score of the first half came as a Reds kick chase forced an error from Stanley, allowing Will Holden to dive onto the loose ball, Hill again tagged on the extras for a 6-12 half time lead.

Stanley came out firing in the second half, as the big set of forwards dominated against B&P, scoring two tries and converting one, as they took a stranglehold on the game to lead 16-12.

Adam Healey, Robert and Howard Metcalfe alongside Ryan Bradley then got a grip on the Stanley pack, giving Will Holden the platform to score the leveller out wide following a jinking run.

As the Reds reshuffled, the Blackpool pack again dominated, with two tries from close range following neat offloads and quick play the balls left the Reds 22-16 down with 11 minutes to go.

A reshuffle saw Shaye McCullough come on at stand off and Crowley move to full back and, following a game breaker challenge from Lloyd Whittaker, where he tackled his opposite number into touch, B&P were able to finally ship the ball wide and exploit gaps in the centres.

Impressive again, Jack Wilkinson alongside new boy Ashley Nutall made yards into a tiring Blackpool line, which allowed Joe Holden time to break the line and run 80m, feeding the ball to Crowley to finish and tie the game up with five minutes on the clock.

Almost immediately the game was sealed, as Joe Holden hit a tremendous line to gallop clear, scoring wide on the right. The last few minutes were tense, as Blackpool probed, but Burnley and Pendle hammered them in defence, sustaining three consecutive sets of six before hacking through and finishing inches from the line.

It was not to be, but Burnley and Pendle had triumphed 22-26 to cap off a season that again has shown the club going from strength to strength.

The squad now breaks up for the winter Rugby Union and College seasons, but not before a players meeting/presentation night on Friday, August 10th, at Sandygate Boxing Gym.