Clitheroe fell agonisingly short in Saturday’s final for the winners of the Lancashire/Cheshire Division 3 Knockout Section of the league/cup season at Wigan RUFC, losing 22-20 to Newton le Willows.
Peel, to a cacophony of boos from the Newton support, pushed a late penalty just wide, and the Maroon and Golds’ opportunity was gone.
Clitheroe took the lead as Chamberlain made a strong carry, which resulted in Newton infringing, and Cuddy slotted the penalty.
On seven minutes, Newton slotted their own penalty following an infringement by Clitheroe, but shortly after, Cuddy regained the lead as Clitheroe got into their groove and went through the phases. Clitheroe pressurised the defence, drawing penalty after penalty, allowing them to take a 9 - 3 lead – though Cuddy had to be replaced by Peel due to injury.
Clitheroe were looking cohesive and dangerous, drawing penalty after penalty, and it was no surprise that a yellow card was given to a Newton player. Peel slotted another penalty, and it was all Clitheroe.
The pressure continued, and a high tackle from a Newton defender resulted in another yellow card. Clitheroe capitalised, moved the ball through the hands, and Dickinson went over in the corner.
Unfortunately the extras weren’t added, but the half time break arrived with Clitheroe leading 17-3.
In the second half, Newton, backed by a raucous support scored a try to bring the score to 17-8.
Clitheroe maintained pressure on the Newton line, but all they had to show was a penalty that took the score to 20-8.
The game was approaching the last 10 minutes when Newton scored a try following big carries from their back row, with the conversion added.
Newton maintained their pressure which led to mistakes in the Clitheroe defence that allowed them to cross again in the corner, with the conversion added.
Clitheroe never know when they are beaten, and drew a penalty infringement, leaving a 30-metre penalty to win the game.
But Peel, and Clitheroe, were narrowly denied.