WITH England’s dismal performance against the French still ripe in everybody’s minds, Clitheroe travelled to a damp and murky Chorley hoping to carry on their own success from the previous week’s encounter.
However, straight from the off it was clear that the Cavaliers were going to have to work extremely hard to stop the home side romping home, as they have done for most of the early part of the season.
Some nifty handy work in the backs caused havoc for Clitheroe’s defence, and as a result, Chorley found themselves sliding over the whitewash a few times in the first half, leaving the score at 17-0.
However, the second half was a very different story, which in the end meant for some very exciting rugby.
With a healthy blend of experienced players and future stars, including a brace of father-son partnerships in Thornber and Williams, Clitheroe began to take control of the game.
Calling upon the experience of the elder players to secure the ball, the dashing youngsters were given a number of chances to reverse the balance, none more so than Sam Thornber, carving lines through the Chorley defence.
However, Clitheroe were unlucky not to get the score on a number of occasions, and it wasn’t until halfway through the second half when scrum-half Brian Wood, one so frivolous with the boot, sniped over the Chorley line to get the first points on the board. Sadly the try could not be converted due to the difficult conditions, but it did not stop a further Clitheroe onslaught!
Clitheroe’s second score came from the ever inspiring Mark Curphy, powering over the line after some excellent work from Joe Newton, consistently making a nuisance of himself at the break down.
This time, the try was converted, and Clitheroe suddenly realised that the prize could be theirs, especially with a further three points coming from the boot of Keough; it meant that the game was going to come down to the wire.
Sadly though, it was Chorley that finally sealed the victory, scoring a questionable try after Clitheroe’s captain Bob Wilkinson was unduly penalised for holding on, despite his best attempts to roll away at the breakdown.
Although the Maroon and Golds didn’t walk away with the three points, a storming performance from veteran and man of the match Geraint Williams, and the realisation that Clitheroe can compete with the big boys in the league, were cause for celebration.
On Saturday, for the first time in almost a decade, Clitheroe host Blackburn 3rds at Littlemoor Road; another team unbeaten this year, but providing a challenge the Cavaliers will certainly relish taking on!
FINAL SCORE: Chorley 2nds 22, Clitheroe 2nds 15