BLACKBURN visited Clitheroe in the first competitive fixture between the two clubs in some considerable time.
A good crowd turned up to watch a very enjoyable and keenly-contested game.
Andrew Thornber captained the home side and was happy to call on a large squad of able players, which included a new player in flanker Arran Dixon and one returning from a long absence in centre/wing James Podevyn.
Clitheroe started by far the brighter of the two teams but only four minutes had elapsed before Blackburn posted the first points of the game with a penalty from close range.
Clitheroe hit back quickly and following outstanding tackling from the Williams boys, father and son combo Geraint and Lewis, and a typically rampaging run from prop Atkinson, they were pounding the visitors’ try line. The ball was moved first to the right then quickly to the left through the hands of Thatcher, Thornber Junior and Dixon, with the latter falling, or perhaps diving, just short of the line.
Luck was on Clitheroe’s side though as Sam Thornber followed up in close support, picking up the ball at the base of the ruck and flopping over the line to score the opening try of the game. This took the score to 5-3 in Clitheroe’s favour. Not long afterwards, a penalty was awarded to Clitheroe for offside and this was duly slotted by Keough to make it 8-6
The home side certainly didn’t stop there as Podevyn, running from deep, made excellent yardage on numerous occasions with flanker Newton and second row Farnsworth in close support each time. Indeed it was after one of these runs that Sam Thornber was caught with a high tackle. The ensuing penalty was teed up by Thatcher by was pushed inches wide.
In the second half Clitheroe made full use of their subs and looked to keep the pressure up. However, Blackburn came out all guns blazing, scoring a penalty, closely followed by their first try of the game to make it 11-8 in their favour.
At this point, Clitheroe struggled to find their tempo and found the game edging away. Another Blackburn try on 60 minutes meant Clitheroe had to chase the game, and apart from a brief visit to the opposition 22 where a kickable penalty chance went begging, Blackburn weren’t giving too much away, holding up strong throughout long periods of the second half.
A final try from Blackburn on 75 minutes extinguished hopes of a home revival and Clitheroe found themselves with a second consecutive defeat - both against the two unbeaten teams at the top of the league.
On Saturday, the seconds travel away to Leigh, while the first team return to action with a home game against Colne and Nelson.
Both games kick-off at 3 p.m.