Clitheroe travelled to Chorley expecting a tough encounter, and that’s what transpired as they battled to a 19-15 win.
Clitheroe welcomed Gaz Pickup and Matt Bleasdale on to the wings, and Garth Spencer returned at full back. Will Dickenson continued as match day captain.
Clitheroe started the better, enjoying controlled possession. After eight minutes, James Pate barged his way over for a try. Nathan Peel converted from wide out.
Chorley came back strongly with good interplay from their forwards and backs. After 11 minutes they scored a well-worked unconverted try.
Clitheroe then crossed the line twice, once from a lineout catch and drive and the other from another tap penalty drive from Pate. Both scores were disallowed.
Eventually, a quick ball from right to left enabled James Cathcart to cross the line for a try on 35 minutes. Peel converted from wide out.
An injury at this point to the Chorley scrum, meant uncontested scrums for the rest of the game. This was a area of strength for Clitheroe and changed the dynamic of the game.
Clitheroe started the second half well. From a quick penalty, the ball was moved quickly to Rick Slinger who broke the defensive line. Good inter-passing and support play resulted in Cathcart crossing for his second try , conversion missed.
Chorley immediately responded with a penalty after Clitheroe infringed at a ruck.
Clitheroe engineered other opportunities to score, but struggled with the final pass and a lack of cohesion in the pick and drive close to the line.
Chorley rallied and scored a well-worked try which was converted, but Clitheroe held out for a narrow win.
Clitheroe’s second team beat Bolton 62-15 at home.
Bolton turned up light, but veterans Andrew Thornber and Steve Dowson donned Boltons colours and Dan Jones stepped up to ensure a fair game.
The Maroons got off to a fantastic start with the ever-impressive Will Spenceley-Jones scoring his first try of the day. Stuart Railton converted.
Clitheroe dominated the scrum and the majority of the line outs, and Railton, Spenceley-Jones (2) and Josh Kay increased the lead to 31-0, with Railton converting two of the tries.
Clitheroe found themselves on the back foot and under a little pressure, and Bolton managed to get themselves over the line with some quick passing, missing the conversion, as Clitheroe led 31-5 at half-time.
In the second half, Clitheroe dominated the set pieces yet again. Spenceley-Jones got another try, and Sam Thornber managed to get two tries, both of which started from Clitheroes own half.
Railton also managing another try and converted two of them to make it 55-5.
Bolton managed to score two tries in the second half, failing to convert either, and in the dying embers of the game, Miles Sharples finally managed to get himself a try and Railton converted perfectly to wrap up an entertaining game.
Clitheroe’s Under 16s beat Burnley 45-0, though, for the purposes of the Junior Challenge competition, a 30-0 home win was recorded, with matches stopped once the lead is more than 30 points.
Clitheroe managed to score 14 unanswered tries.
Centre Duck continued his scoring with another six tries and a significant number of conversions.
He had a belter of a game and set up the try of the game in the first half when he chipped through before regathering and passing athletically to his left to a galloping Hamlet to score.
Forwards and backs got on the scoresheet. Props ran more than half the field to score a couple of times and hooker Spink scored the first try after sprinting more than 40 yards down the touchline.
There’ll be much harder tests for this set of players as they progress through this season, but they have no mean amount of skill, a great deal of endeavour and a significant amount of confidence.