Clitheroe hit the buffers at Bury
Road trip ends in defeat
Clitheroe’s excellent league form hit the buffers at Bury on a disappointing afternoon at Bury.
The usual selection problems through injury and availability presented themselves but the maroon and golds travelled with a full squad down the M66.
The game kicked off on a decent surface considering the recent weather and it was Bury who dominated early possession and territory. The hosts back line looked dangerous and it was not unexpected when a penalty try was awarded following an attack down the wing.
Clitheroe needed to sort out their game plan and eventually they gained more possession by going through the phases with the forwards. The pack has dominated in most games this season and this was no different as Pate and Graves consistently got over the gain line.
Captain Will Dickenson led from the front and following a period of pressure on the hosts line Bury conceded multiple penalties. Clitheroe elected for the scrum and pushed over the Bury pack and Eagle touched down. Cuddy slotted the extras and scores were level.
Having just got back in the game Clitheroe then allowed the Bury no 7 to break 3 tackles and waltz over the line to score an easy try. The extras were added and plus another penalty for the hosts and Clitheroe trailed 17-7.
The Clitheroe forward pack again came back at Bury. Good carries by Rigby and Chamberlain enabled the visitors to gain some momentum and exert pressure. Again the Clitheroe 8 pushed over their counterparts for another try with the ever young Eagle finishing the job. Extras added and 17-14 at half time.
Game on or so we thought.
Spence replaced the injured Shorthouse and play resumed with Clitheroe gaining early territorial pressure. Coach Getty made good ground by bulldozing his way through defenders but Clitheroe were unable to get their back line going. Another scrum, more pressure with the Bury pack going backwards and it seemed that Clitheroe would score. Inexplicably the referee stopped the game and reset the scrum which resulted in an infringement by a Clitheroe player and pressure was lost.
And from that point Clitheroe seemed to lose their plan, some discipline and with that the referee. The centre pairing of Slinger and Cuddy didn’t get into the game as the visitors would have liked and eventually Floyd transgressed and received 10 mins in the bin. Another penalty was added and the game was slipping away.
At this point the visitors could have still come back but as Bury put the ball through the hands and touched down in the corner despite the excellent James ‘Bicky’ Dickenson putting the Bury player clearly into touch.
The try shouldn’t have been awarded but nevertheless it was what Clitheroe deserved.
The extras were added and another try conceded at the end rounded off a very disappointing day.
On a positive note, the pack was generally excellent and the effort from all was there to see. However the game plan didn't work, too many tackles missed and Clitheroe must learn to manage the referee better through discipline.
This team have played and will play a lot better than they did in this game.
Special mention to Robertson who despite filling in a role that is not his speciality, did an admirable job and man of the match goes to James ‘ bicky’ Dickenson for some excellent breaks and strong tackling.
Next week the maroon and golds travel to Old Bedians for another tough fixture.
Report by SD