DESPITE a good team performance, Clitheroe lost to a very strong Sedgley Park, although with a little more synchronisation in attack the result could have been different.
Sedgley moved the ball into their backline well, and hard running and driving was the order from both their backs and forwards.
However, Clitheroe responded well with some hard running of their own and the opening honours were even.
Sedgley broke the deadlock with a try coming out wide, which was converted to put them 7-0 ahead.
Again the Maroon and Gold came back well, with some excellent driving from locks Dowson and Mick Thornber in attack, and the tackling from flankers Ralph Rigby and Joe Newton in defence was aggressive and bone crunching, putting the attacking plays backwards in the breakdown.
In the back line Kino and Waddington served it up to the visitors with their usual hard running style of play.
However, Sedgley again scored the next points with another try out wide, which went unconverted.
After the turn round, the home team had the advantage of the wind and the low sun was now out of their eyes.
With the forwards matching Sedgley in possession and aggression, Clitheroe forged into their half and pushed them back.
However, little handling errors were a feature of the day and possession was lost through dropped balls, giving the knock-on and a turn over scrum for Sedgley.
At times the pressure from Clitheroe was too frantic and some cheap infringements crept in at the breakdown, again leading to turnover ball.
Good pressure from Clitheroe into the Sedgley 22 was relieved with a clearing kick from the visitors, and a jinking twist from the ball spilt it into the chasing Sedgley players hands, and they swept in to score and move 17 points clear.
Clitheroe knuckled down to take the game to Sedgley and pressed into the Sedgley half from the restart and camped there – good ball driving from Atkinson and Ed Thornber up front, combined with some slick passing form Ben Rigby and excellent ball distribution from Watson at 10, unleashed Bartle at inside centre who drove the ball hard up the centre and within good reach of the Clitheroe back row, who recycled the ball back to the half backs time and again.
With the ball spun out wide through the hands of Watson, Bartle and Waddington, Hough scored in the corner to drag Clitheroe back to 17-5.
With Watson leaving the field of play with a suspected old knee and Peel now at 10, the style of the game shifted towards a more pressured need for points.
Sedgley scored again with a raking clearance kick, and the ball bounced back into their hands, and they scored again before the final whistle to win 27-5.
Home team man of the match was awarded to Rigby.
On Saturday Clitheroe entertain Fleetwood at Littlemoor, while the second XV travelling to Blackpool.
Final Score: Clitheroe 5, Sedgley Park 3rds 27