AFTER a couple of pitch inspections at Littlemoor, Clitheroe seconds’ game against Preston Grasshoppers sixths was cleared to go ahead - and the locals grabbed their chance to move up to seventh in the table.
Clitheroe didn’t start too well and put themselves under pressure with a distinct lack of team cohesion. Hoppers’ experienced pack were mauling well and creating havoc at ruck time, while the home pack were finding it difficult to get the upper hand. That said, Clitheroe drew first blood as Keough, returning to the backs following his successful foray into the front row last week, slotted a penalty from 25 metres out. An equalising attempt by the Hoppers centre went just wide and the home side found themselves in a 3-0 lead going into half-time break.
This was pretty much against the run of play but Clitheroe knew they could do better.
The second half started at some pace and the back line was ticking over quite nicely, fly half Watson engineering things brilliantly and setting winger Bleasdale into space out on the left. He was bundled into touch and Hoppers took the ball for a line out close to their line.
Unfortunately, the hooker overthrew the ball and second row Farnsworth happily gobbled it up and dropped over the line unopposed. This was certainly deserved based on how they’d commenced the half, and with hooker Thornber and flanker Newton creating havoc in both attack and defence this appeared to be Clitheroe pulling away.
Clitheroe were running everything, and after a quick tap from scrum half Wood, Watson moved the ball quickly left, and a smart run from flanker Hough saw him ghost through a gap and dot down under the posts. This was converted by Keough to take the score to 15-0.
Hoppers weren’t quite finished though and looked determined to score. Only stout defence kept them at bay and scrum half Wood was sin-binned for a slightly cynical attempt to slow down a quick penalty, but Clitheroe held out by nilling their opposition, achieving this for the second time this season.
The man of the match award, sponsored by the Emporium, was given to young flanker Joe Newton Significant contributions also came from the evergreen Thornber and Watson whilst special thanks were also given to the referee, Matthew Riley, who stepped and did a great job to boot.
The next action at Littlemoor will be in four weeks’ time when Carnforth seconds are the visitors.
The firsts play a week earlier on January 7th, at Old Bedians.
Training will resume after the Christmas break on Sunday, January 8th at 10-15 a.m. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information or call the hotline on 07930 355806.