Following last week’s significant loss at Winnington Park in the first of the season’s conference league games, Clitheroe returned to winning ways at home to Oxton when prevailing by 28 points to 12.
Oxton Parkonians from the Wirral had come from behind to take the spoils in the preliminary part of the season, and Clitheroe were dead set on gaining revenge from one of those games that got away.
The squad saw a return from a five-week injury lay off for centre Jack Stanley, and also back in the fold was wing, and later full back, Joseph Marsden.
Clitheroe started the game well, with forwards making good ground and taking the game to the opposition.
It was Clitheroe first on the score sheet, as number eight Joe Aspin jinked his way through a broken defensive line.
Duck added the extras in what was a flawless kicking display from the centre.
Oxton hit back quickly with two tries to take the lead before Clitheroe hit back before the end of the half with a try coming from the lively Hamlet, playing what was probably his best game at outside centre in both attack and defence.
The half-time score was 14-12, and to be honest, there wasn’t much between the teams.
The rucks were evenly contested, as were the scrums and lineouts.
Duck’s extras were the only difference.
The scoreline remained the same through nearly half an hour of the second half, until fly half Wilkinson, who moved to the back row following injuries to Horsfield and Pimbley, finished off a good team move to edge Clitheroe into a lead that meant the visitors needed two scores with only five minutes remaining.
As Oxton tried to throw the kitchen sink at Clitheroe, Wilkinson countered from the back of the lineout and Duck was on the end of a shirt pass to dot down under the posts to give Clitheroe an unassailable lead.
The Clitheroe players, to a man, really put their bodies on the line and played excellently together in their finest team performance in some time.
All the forwards, and most notably Aspin, Barraclough and Calton-Whitaker came to the fore in both attack and defence and laid a great platform for the backs.
The backs really let fly and got the scoreboard moving.
Centre Stanley terrorised the Oxton defence, Marsden slotted in brilliantly at full back after Pimbley went off with a bloodied nose, flyer Mason was awesome with his kick returns, Davies barked positive things at his teammates all through the game and Hamlet proved his worth with every touch.
These guys all linked really well throughout the game and were a pleasure to watch.
Overall, the man of the match went to Aspin, who set the tone going forward and defensively in equal measure.
This weekend, Clitheroe travel to Burnley to see if they can match or eclipse their last visit, when they won 45-12.
Burnley will certainly be a tougher proposition this time round and won’t be underestimated.
l Clitheroe’s first team’s dip in form continued as they suffered another defeat at Old Bedians, losing 38-24.
The Maroons were chasing the game from the off and trailed 21-12 at half-time despite tries from Robertson and Floyd. The visitors conceded a further 17 points in the second half before tries from Graves and Slinger.