A BAKING hot day at Littlemoor was no fun for Clitheroe’s rugby boys.
A major team reshuffle moved Aaron Atkinson into the crash ball centre position and big Jim Smith on at tight head prop.
Soon after the changes, and before Clitheroe had settled, Mossley were over in the corner -not the best of starts.
However, Clitheroe dug in and with Dave Watson, playing at scrum half, calling the shots, some momentum was created and Clitheroe began to up the intensity. Maybe a bit too much for the referee’s liking as centre Nathan Peel and his opposite number were dispatched for a 10-minute detention.
The visitors’ backline was especially dangerous, and they cut some lovely angles, coming on to the ball at pace, causing panic in the home defence.
Nevertheless Clitheroe still tried to keep attacking, and after a brief foray into the visitors’ half, they garnered a penalty, which Stuart Railton slotted over.
As the game wore on Clitheroe’s lack of bench cover became glaringly more apparent.
The chronic lack of go-forward ball dried up to a trickle, and as Mossley were rotating tired legs for fresh, Clitheroe could only suffer in silence.
On the bright side was the full home debut for young prop Craig Holland who is a raw talent to be nurtured.
Carnforth 2nds..........14, Clitheroe 2nds...........17
• FOLLOWING last week’s cancellation of the seconds’ home fixture against Garstang, skipper Bob Wilkinson and his squad were looking forward to a trip up the M6 to face old foes Carnforth.
Both sides have stuttered over the opening weeks of the campaign and were in desperate need of a win.
Clitheroe’s numbers were swelled by newcomers Neil Shaw and father and son duo Geraint and Lewis Williams, as well as quality experience in chairman Andrew Thornber and stalwart Bill Thatcher.
Clitheroe started the game at a pace. It was only excellent Carnforth defence and an unlucky judgement for where the real try line was by one of the second rows that kept the scores level for over 20 minutes.
Excellent support play by the Clitheroe forwards nearly resulted in a try for Hayton but the ball was lost over the line.
Heads still remained high and not long after more forward driving play gave ideal ball for the backs to run, and Ed Rigby scored a great team try. Full back Keough slotted the extras to take Clitheroe into a 10-0 lead.
Although Carnforth dragged themselves back into the game, that was how the scored stayed going into the half-time break.
The second half proved somewhat different as Carnforth made significant inroads.
The hosts’ fly half was making himself a real nuisance and stretched the defence on numerous occasions. Carnforth managed to turn pressure into points, and on 55 minutes they scored their first try and Clitheroe were looking shaky. Clitheroe couldn’t quite capture their early dominance and only scrambling defence that kept their lead intact.
With only 5ive minutes left, Carnforth drove deep into the Clitheroe 22, and with a line out on their own five-metre line, Clitheroe were under pressure. The line out was lost, and with a quick drive right, the ball was returned to the left wing and the Carnforth winger dotted down in the corner.
The conversion was taken with aplomb and the score stood at 14-10 in favour of the hosts. Clitheroe had only three minutes to rescue the game.
At the ensuing kick-off, Keough kicked high and long and Clitheroe regained possession. Strong drives from Williams Jnr and the Procter boys took them onwards, and a penalty for a Carnforth forward killing the ball saw Chris Harper burrowing over to score an excellent try. Keough made the conversion and the final whistle blew to the relief of all those in Maroon and Gold.
This week is a crunch game at league frontrunners Chorley.
In the junior section, this Sunday sees the visit of local rivals Burnley, with games planned at all age groups. For more information, visit the club website, check the hotline on 07930 355806 or contact email@example.com