Maroons fall agonisingly short at Bury

Chris Stewart
Chris Stewart

A nail biting finish to a hard fought match for the town team at second placed Bury ended in disappointment.

With the score at 15-14 to the hosts, the final kick of the game saw a touchline conversion attempt from the skipper Nathan Peel sailed agonisingly wide.

Clitheroe went to Bury stretched by injuries, but there was a first start for bulky prop Ben Graves after nearly two seasons out, and a recall for Rick Slinger on the flank.

The first quarter was fairly even with both sides trading penalties. Although Clitheroe seemed to manage to get on the wrong side of the referee on too many occasions, and the penalty count mounted up alarmingly against the Maroons.

A bit of back chat gave the home team easy possession and directly from it scored a try to take the lead.

Just before the interval, Bury pounded hard on the Clitheroe line. After holding out from a series of close range penalties, scrums and line outs, the referee blew for half time with the Maroon only three points adrift.

Unfortunately Bury had other ideas and were soon driving at the Clitheroe line.

After a series of raids under the shadow of the posts, Clitheroe tested the referee’s patience once too often and a penalty try ensued.

Clitheroe turned up, and on came Dan Smith for Richard Few at scrum half and Andrew Thornber for Adam Penney at hooker.

As the clock went against Clitheroe, the ball was spun out wide and full back Chris Stewart used his pace and power to crash through to score with the final play.

A one point reverse against one of the top teams in the division is no disgrace and an excellent attitude should see some scalps ahead.