Clitheroe seconds storm to promotion at Littlemoor

Clitheroe seconds celebrate their promotion success
Clitheroe seconds celebrate their promotion success

Clitheroe RUFC seconds secured promotion from Division 5 North in their final home game against Tyldesley.

The Littlemoor side were secure in the knowledge that a victory would guarantee promotion.

Clitheroe welcomed back Podeyn and Bartle, who replaced the injured Doherty and Gretton, and Sturgess also made a welcome return after holiday.

Tyldesley proved tough opponents in the earlier fixture and though they travelled a little light in numbers they played with spirit and no little skill.

Massive thanks go to Mark Harrison, Richard Few and Mitch Jones for assisting with numbers on a rolling basis for Tyldesley as injury and depletions struck.

And Ben Graves played the full 80 for the visitors as his long-awaited return from injury was marked with a fine display full of good rucking and excellent ball carries.

The match quickly developed into a keenly-fought contest. Both packs were fairly evenly matched, though gradually Clitheroe gained the ascendancy with captain Thornber winning a number against the head. He was ably assisted by props Smith and Procter, who have provided a rock solid foundation for the pack this season.

Clitheroe dominated the possession and territory, but the visitors proved difficult to break down. The pairing of Sturgess and Watson proved effective and gaps were being opened up in the defence.

Bartle had an excellent game with his deceptive pace and his eye for gaps.

The scoring was opened following a number of phases from the forwards, which saw the ball being put through the hands to Stewart, who burst a couple of tackles and then offloaded brilliantly out of the back of his hand to Watson, who popped under the posts to finish. Craig Procter added the extras.

Clitheroe now had the confidence to run the ball and Procter was on hand to score the first of his hat-trick of tries, followed by a Sturgess try, after an excellent break by Bartle made it 19-0.

But Tyldesley were extremely competitive with their number eight in the thick of it, and their fast-running backs always looking to cause problems.

Clitheroe’s back row have been excellent all season, and the strong ruins of Chamberlain provided a great platform for the backs and Stewart scored another excellent try.

With Procter scoring another try before half-time, the whistle went with the home side leading 31-0.

The crowd continued to be entertained in the second half to some excellent running rugby, though Tyldesley came back into the game strongly.

A couple of well taken tries made it 31-12.

Clitheroe recovered their composure to score two more tries through Procter and Mitch Jones, before Tyldesley scored another good try in the corner, and the referee blew the whistle with the hosts running out victors 43-17, and eagerly awaiting a return to action next season.