Clitheroe have hit good form following the split of the league, and remain unbeaten following a 29-15 victory over Prenton.
On a wet and muddy surface at Littlemoor, they hosted second placed Prenton in a tough encounter.
The visitors have similar club colours and the hosts donned their blue strip to avoid confusion, but with the mud it could have all been academic.
The game kicked off and it was Prenton who took the fight to Clitheroe, quite literally in one case, with yellow cards being dished out to the visitors for violent transgressions.
Once the game settled down, this was a well-matched contest between two in-form teams.
Clitheroe probed the visitors’ defence and the ever- young Eagle scored off the back of a maul to give the hosts the lead.
Cuddy added the extras and it was no more than Clitheroe deserved.
Prenton, however, are made of strong stuff, and came back into the game with a score of their own which they failed to convert.
Clitheroe responded with a second score, with the returning Callum Harris scoring from 15 metres out, again from a maul.
Again, the reliable Cuddy added the extras and Clitheroe were in the lead by 14-5.
The visitors replied with a penalty to leave the score at 14-8 at half-time.
The visitors’ discipline let them down on occasion, with them receiving a red card and two yellows during a feisty first half.
Peel replaced the energetic Few at scrum half, and Clitheroe came out determined to press home their advantage.
The pack functioned well, with Graves, captain Dickinson and Pate very solid.
Kenyon was ever-reliable in the engine room and Rigby had an excellent game.
Clitheroe pressed on, and following good work by Vaghetti and Slinger, James ‘Bicky’ Dickenson found space to finish from 30 metres in the corner.
Unbelievably, Cuddy didn’t add the extras – he doesn’t miss many at all so an unwanted collectors item!
Prenton, who were excellent in defence, continued to press, and scored a converted try to make the score 19-15.
This was a close game in difficult conditions, but this Clitheroe side has character in abundance and has rediscovered its confidence.
Dickenson made another line break, Slinger supported well and took the ball on, and the ball was popped to the excellent Pate, who crashed over the line.
Cuddy added the extras, plus a penalty, to leave the final score 29-15 to the men from Littlemoor.
The back line defended well, with Cathcart, Floyd and Vaghetti in good form.
The back row of Shorthouse and Dickenson were everywhere, and Chris Stewart and Penney brought their class and experience to the fray.
Excellent performances from all in blue – especially Rigby and Slinger – but the real credit goes to the whole squad for a great victory against tough opponents in difficult conditions.
Clitheroe are on a roll, player availability is good, and this team can do well if this remains the case, and there’s much more to come in the remaining weeks of the season.