Clitheroe secure promotion with victory over Chorley.
Clitheroe 1st XV gained promotion to the second division of the Miller Homes League with a victory over Chorley at Litttlemoor.
A good crowd was in attendance for the Easter Saturday fixture and the hosts knew that a challenge lay ahead as Chorley have recently hit a rich vein of form.
Clitheroe fielded a squad that has been reasonably settled all season with a couple of absences through injury and other commitments. The match kicked off on a firm pitch, for once, and Chorley started strongly taking an early lead through a penalty and the visitors looked threatening. Chorley seemed to dominate the territory but Clitheroe hit back with Captain Will Dickenson
bulldozing over following a series of pick and go’s from Clitheroe forwards. Peel added the extras but this seemed to galvanise Chorley who scored two unanswered tries to lead 13-7. If Clitheroe didn’t think they were in a game they certainly did now and back into it they came through a well-executed cross field kick from Vaghetti which found James Dickinson
who finished well to bring the maroons within a point of the visitors at 12-13.
Back came Chorley and scored again but were unable to convert but as half time approached the Clitheroe forwards executed a superb rolling maul that made 30 meters and Peel found himself in space to make the dash for the line and touch down under the posts. The extras were added and the hosts went into the half time break leading 19 – 18.
The second half resumed with Chorley converting a penalty but Clitheroe regained the lead with an excellent 60 metre break being made by Lafranceschina who passed to Cathcart who had supported superbly to score the try.
The ageless Rigby replaced Hayton to bolster the line out options for the hosts and gradually Clitheroe came into the ascendancy. Sam Thornber
scored the first of his two tries by powering over from a maul and then he scored again a few minutes later which was just reward for his efforts. Clitheroe were comfortably in the lead at 38-21 but this Chorley team is made of stern stuff and again they came back into the game with a well worked try. At 38-26 the celebrations were on hold before the excellent Bailey showed pace to go in under the posts to ease the nerves.
Clitheroe were relaxed and full of confidence and it was only fitting that they saved their best try until last. Following good ball presented by the pack, who had delivered a good base for the back line to operate off all day, Peel made a break with and the ball went through the hands to Bleasdale who touched down in the corner. The conversion was missed but final score was 50-26 in a thoroughly entertaining game.
The last team based try epitomised what this Clitheroe team is all about. Every player deserves recognition for their efforts. They work hard for each other and their commitment and no little skill combined has produced reward in the shape of a well-deserved promotion. Clitheroe RUFC is moving forward through the hard work of the coaching staff and all playersand there is still the chance of further success in the Cup Final at Aspull where they face Penrith on 6th May.
Man of the match was Sam Thornber
for another strong performance. Next week the final 1st XV game of the season at home when the Maroons welcome Burnley.