Elusive win slips through Maroon and Golds’ hands

Try scorer Craig Procter
Try scorer Craig Procter

Another match slipped through the greasy fingers of Clitheroe’s rugby men at Littlemoor last Saturday.

Newton le Willows travellied from deep in Rugby League territory, and with a car delayed on the journey, they very nearly started that way in this match.

Sportingly the home side kicked their heels for a while in the changing rooms while the sky darkened and the referee fretted about finishing the game before lighting up time.

Once the visitors were up to a full compliment, the game was soon underway.

Perfect hosts as Clitheroe are, they soon allowed Newton in to open the scoring. With the fringe defence caught ball watching, the Newton number 8 bobbed through an open door to give the visitors the lead within the first five minutes.

But with a proverbial boot up the nether regions, Clitheroe got their game into gear and began to take territorial advantage.

It took an age to arrive but when it did it was a beauty. A wayward clearance from Newton was fielded by livewire wingman Wayne Latham, in only his second outing for the senior team.

He made excellent yardage scuttling down the left touchline, and, tackled just short, the ball was recycled to the right through several pairs of hands. Finally it was the opposite winger Lewis Hardman who powered over in the corner, scoring his first try for the club.

Not to be outsmarted, Newton struck back with their own score, only for Clitheroe to level up the scores at 10-10 with a penalty from Declan Fitzhenry.

Half-time came and went, and with it Sam Thornber hobbling off clutching an ice pack under his shorts.

On in his place came another one of clan Procter, Craig joining his father in the forwards.

Newton’s defence was proving a trifle stubborn for Clitheroe to break down. Their tackling was firm but fair, and any forward rushes were repelled by the visitors.

About this time the Newton hit a purple patch and suddenly unleashed a speedster to wreak havoc in the Clitheroe defence. Just where he had been during the earlier part of the game is anyone’s guess. But two more tries later and Newton had the game almost in their pocket.

In the gloom of a drizzly December late afternoon, Clitheroe kept pressing.

The touchline faithful who hadn’t been enticed away to the bright lights and warmth of the club house, were well rewarded with a try from Procter Junior, Craig that is.

A good turn of speed from the youngster, and enough power to bob the ball over the whitewash, to wrap up the game.

Just one more game for this year for the Maroons.

This Saturday the seconds travel up to old friends Carnforth, with all welcome for the away trip.