Burnley and Pendle see off the Police
The locals seemed lacklustre in the opening exchanges. Early Police pressure was only repelled by some scrambling defence, with outside backs, Jack Wilkinson and Danny Myers keeping the visitors at bay.
The pressure finally told with a score for the Police to take an early lead.
Burnley and Pendle were now well aware of the task in hand. The new half back pairing of Will Holden and Ryan Mirfield gradually took control in midfield. Some strong running from forwards Ben Healy and Jammal Asghar made inroads into the Police defence.
The visitors were then pinned into their own 20 and were forced to cough up the ball as a result of a big hit by second rower Adam Healy.
With the Police forced back on their own tryline, Holden squirmed over, converted by Steve Harrison.
From the kick-off the ball was fielded by Holden and fed to full back Will Farnworth, whose excellent line, together with the timing of the pass, split the defence. Farnworth’s run took the home side deep into the visitors’ half to set up an great attacking position.
Further drives by the home forwards took the ball closer to the Police line. The ball moved to the right to find the powerful centre Jack Wilkinson, who sliced through the defence for the home side to take the lead.
The bigger Burnley and Pendle pack were now beginning to dominate in the middle of the park. The back row of Asghar, Adam Healy and Sam Walker were all impressive in attack and defence, supported by forwards Sam Hamer and Rob Parkin off the interchange bench. Further home pressure saw young forward Parkin, crash over for his first try for the club.
The second half continued in the same vein with no respite for the visitors. The home defence was superbly marshalled by centre Ian Coates and with stand off Mirfield continually probing the Police lines, the Black and Reds were camped in the visitors’ half.
A touch of fortune led to the next try. On the last tackle, Mirfield launched a huge kick that ricocheted off the posts. The ball bounced kindly for Craig Wiseman to score under the sticks.
The Police refused to crumble, and for the next 20 minutes, neither defence was breached. The live wire hooker Danny Rowland, playing for his employers against his usual team mates, was a constant thorn in Burnley and Pendle’s side.
On the hour Rowland caught a tiring home defence on the back foot, scooting from dummy half to score under the posts.
Burnley and Pendle, redoubled their efforts with forward Ben Peverley coming off the bench. With the forwards providing the platform, a break by Holden seemed to have been stopped by the scrambling defence, but somehow he managed to to off load to Harrison to score a well-deserved try.
Rowland provided the visitors with some hope in scoring his second try to make the score 28-18, but when the ball was dropped, young prop Rob Parkin found the ball in his hands with 70 metres of open field, and though he was caught 10 metres out, a speculative pass found Holden to score under the posts.