Clitheroe seconds took centre stage at Littlemoor last Saturday, and ground out as win over their basement rivals Sedgley Park to leapfrog them off the the foot of the table.
Park brought a strong squad and the game was indeed close, as the scoreline suggests, but Clitheroe have had renewed confidence,s and the home win was as welcome as it was vital.
It was a perfect day for rugby – cool but dry, and the pitch in excellent order, with top marks to groundsman Phil Isherwood, who has been down at RFU headquarters Twickenham this week, to pass on some of his knowledge.
Clitheroe started brightly and were ahead within 10 minutes when Ethan Wringe muscled and squirreled his way over.
This swelled Clitheroe’s confidence and they were soon camped down on the Sedgley line. A mini campaign ensued, with several scrums, close quarter rumbles and equally robust defence from the visitors.
Front row men Chris Birchall, Adam Penney and Will Jones looked especially solid in the tight play, helped in no short order by the weight coming through from Pete Farnsworth and Kirk Kenyon.
Eventually from a thrust on the left flank, the ball was spun right, and when play was held up short, veteran Andrew Thornber bulldozed over from inches to claim the touchdown.
Sedgley were roused by this affront and began to assert themselves as they dominated the next 50 minutes of the game.
As Clitheroe seemed to ease off, they began to fall off tackles and Park grabbed a try before half-time.
The second half started no better for the home team, and it was no real surprise when the line was eventually breached. Fortunately the conversion was missed.
Park, however, were still in the ascendancy and a penalty put them ahead.
It took until the last 10 minutes for Clitheroe to rouse themselves, when they finally started to punch some holes in the visitors’ defence.
Stuart Railton began to weave some neat lines, opening up the field, and Matt Bleasdale hit the gas with a classic outside break and fed the lurking Wringe to touchdown for the try to seal the win for Clitheroe.
Clitheroe’s Junior Colts won 38-14 at Burnley.
After 20 minutes, Clitheroe took the lead through centre Hamlet, before Stanley went over after an outrageous dummy.
Aspin then added a superb solo effort, before Burnley replied with two good team tries before half-time.
The second half pretty much belonged to Clitheroe. On 50 minutes, Wilkinson intercepted a stray pass and streaked 60 metres to score, and he added a second, before prop Brown denied a try in the corner, and, from the oattacking scrum, Davies rounded things off with a splendid team try.