Maroons ease through in the Raging Bull Bowl

Action from Clitheroe's win at Oldham
Action from Clitheroe's win at Oldham
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Clitheroe eased through the preliminary round of the Raging Bull Bowl competition on Saturday with a 50-5 win at Oldham.

And in doing so, they exorcised the ghosts of their last visit to Manor Park last year.

On that occasion, like this, they smoothly moved into a 26-point lead just after the interval, but hit the self destruct button and lost by a single point.

On Saturday, the result was much different. After building a four-try lead, they kicked on with another four to completely overwhelm their hosts.

Prop forward Will Dickenson failed a late fitness test, meaning a recall for veteran Ben Graves. A first full start for new man Harry Bailey in the back row was to prove influential, as was debutant Mike Floyd out on the left wing after impressing in the second XV.

The Maroons were quickly into their stride. And although Oldham fielded a jumbo pack of forwards, with some strong ball carriers, Clitheroe were confident they could gain parity in this area. Plus they had the ability to play the wider game - and use their superior mobility and conditioning.

It took only eight minutes for Clitheroe to open their account when Chris Stewart carved a line right through the middle of a flat footed defence to dot down under the posts.

Next on the receiving end was wing man David Seed, who scorched down the wing after a midfield scrum ball was deftly passed down the line.

Just over the half hour mark Harry Bailey showed a glimpse of his speed and support play, to back up a break from Stewart and out pace the cover to score an excellent first try for the club.

In the second half, as the Oldham team began to tire they began to kick loosely to clear their lines.

This was meat and drink to a counter attacking full back in Martin Lafranceschina. From inside his own 22, he set off on a mazy run right through the heart of the defence. As it seemed he might go all the way, he was hauled down 10 metres out, but backing up superbly was lock Ross Chamberlain who plunged over.

Then from a clean lineout ball, centre James Dickinson took a flat pass and carved through for a classic first phase try.

Moments later, Seed burst down the wing to cap a brace of tries.

Clitheroe were not finished, and Bailey grabbed his second, again supporting well and striding away from the cover.

Oldham showed great character in grabbing a try back, but Clitheroe wrapped things up as a weaving run from Nathan Peel saw him over the whitewash to cap a good afternoon’s work.

On Saturday, Clitheroe host Rochdale at Littlemoor, kick-off 3 p.m.