Great start to phase two for the Maroons

Mike Floyd in action for Clitheroe in the win over Wallasey
Mike Floyd in action for Clitheroe in the win over Wallasey
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A new start for the second phase of the season and brand new opposition for the town team, as Wallasey RFC made the long journey up the motorway to a sunny Littlemoor.

The new format to the end of the season is a sprint of six games up until Easter, then the top four go into a play-off, so a good start was absolutely essential for skipper Will Dickenson’s team.

With Getty Schinkel unavailable, it was left to Rick Edmondson to offer sage advice from the touchline.

Clitheroe were able to play some open, free-flowing rugby, the quality of which raged between middling and splendid.

There were plenty of highlights to keep the crowd happy and just enough “biff” to warm the cockles of a few aging observers from the sidelines.

There was also a master class in place kicking from Jonny Cuddy, slotting them with ease from all corners – reminiscent of former maroon and gold favourite Joe Hopkins.

The first half saw four tries run in from the home side, all scored by the forwards.

Sam Thornber scored a brace from the number eight position , fellow loose forward Nat Dickenson showed big brother how to do it, and rumbustious prop Ben Graves used his 19 stone to great effect in crashing over.

Half-time came and went with Clitheroe 26 points to the good.

As Thornber was on for a hat-trick the referee helpfully sent him into the cooler for a rest either side of the interval.

The second period was more of the same, but the backs began to pass the ball to each other.

The introduction of speedsters Chris Stewart and Joe Smith off the bench kept the tempo up and the scoreboard ticking over.

Stewart bookended the half with scores. In between, Stuart Railton went over, along with Graves for his second, and Cuddy added a try to his seven conversions.

With far harder games coming up, it was difficult to gauge whether this was good preparation or not. Time will no doubt tell.

At least there were no injuries to report, and it shows, with a full compliment to choose from, the team is a match for anyone in the division.

Standout players for Clitheroe? James Pate, the giant prop, was energetic in the loose, veteran loosie Darren Eagle did the simple things well and is at the heart of many attacks. In the backs, Marco Vaghetti marshaled his troops well and Railton, deceptively lively for one so laid back, took his deserved try well.

There is an away day this weekend, and more unknown opposition in the shape of Liverpool University.

Meanwhile, Clitheroe seconds triumphed at Bury, witha hat-trick from Bleasdale, and further tries from McMahon, Furbush, Nobbs, Mitchel.

Overall this was as complete a performance as the Cavaliers could hope to achieve.

l Clitheroe’s Junior Colts hosted high-flying Eccles, who were too slick for the home side.

However, Clitheroe made the most of their opportunities and scored the last couple of tries to give a modicum of shine to the result.