Mossley Hill 5, Clitheroe 3

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THE fixtures do not get any easier for Clitheroe who travelled to Liverpool to play Mossley Hill – a team who have been on top or second in the league for the whole season.

Having played the team twice already this season in the cup and league without success, Clitheroe were looking for a more competitive performance to build on a recent improvement in form.

The match was fiercely competitive for the full 80 minutes with the crowd treated to a highly entertaining match played at a good pace.

It was Clitheroe who scored the first points of the game with a converted penalty from the boot of Fitzhenry after a Mossley transgression – bought on by the excellent play of the forwards,

Mossley Hill have a fine backline with some very dynamic runners and it was the home team who struck next with a finely worked score in the corner after the ball was recycled several times by the forwards, then spun out wide for the winger to slide over in the corner.

Half-time came and Clitheroe restarted the match looking to score some killer points to put their hosts on the back foot. The ball was recycled over and over again by the forwards and Willkinson, Atkinson and Holmes were in among everything on the floor.

This gave the backs as good a platform to work off as they have had in recent weeks – Dan Smith at scrum half was marshalling the forwards and Fitzhenry running the backline and distributing the ball well to the hard running centre pairing of Peel and Gary Beary.

The game was high energy and changes to personnel were needed by both teams in order to keep up the high level of intensity. Wilkinson was replaced by the hard-working Hacking, while Holmes was replaced at hooker by Penny, who was returning from injury.

Mossley Hill had good periods of pressure and at times looked like scoring again out wide, but the last gasp tackling of the back three – Railton, Birch and Waddington – held them out.

Clitheroe had chances also as their pressure in the Mossley half led to a couple of difficult penalty chances which sailed agonisingly close.

Clitheroe welcome Eagle RUFC to Littlemoor for first time in a number of years next week while the 2nd XV play Blackburn.