Maroons advance to last eight

Joe Hopkins (s)
Joe Hopkins (s)

A dank, dismal November day at Littlemoor was brightened by the town team progressing to the quarter-finals of the Raging Bull Bowl with a 29-12 win over Tarleton.

Having played, and won at the same opposition the previous week, the manner of victory was totally different.

A reshuffle in the backs saw Joe Hopkins start at fly half and Matt Bleasedale on the left wing, with Nat Dickenson coming in at blindside flank.

Skipper Richard Few elected to play with the slope and demanded quick scores to set the correct tone.

Clitheroe duly obliged and started throwing the ball about in almost cavalier fashion. And with the forwards warming to their task and forcing many turn overs, it gave the speedy looking back line plenty of ammunition to attack.

After a couple of thrusts in the outside channel, a sharp inside ball from Hopkins put Chris Stewart through to score.

Hopkins was on hand with the extras.

A wave of attacks were well supported by the pack, who efficiently repeatedly recycled the ball and powerful Welsh number eight James Haynes dived over.

Clitheroe kept up the pressure nicely and a penalty from Hopkins kept the scoreboard ticking over.

Just on the stroke of the interval, Tarleton scored a try of their own.

Tarleton started the second period strongly, and scored again shortly after the restart. The conversion put them within a score, but Clitheroe pressed again and their patience was rewarded.

Ruck ball under the post was moved to the right where there was a slight overlap. Some excellent swift take and give passing from the tight forwards, with Richard Edmondson and Jamie Farrell to the fore, put Joe Smith in.

Again Hopkins converted to seal a man of the match performance.

There was still time for one more score, as a prolonged skirmish under the shadow of the posts saw the ball shipped out to the left, where lock forward Lewis Hardman slithered in and rounded off the game in style.