Young Doctors too Slick for Clitheroe
By Roger Holmes
Hard going at Manchester
So, after a morale boosting win last week, the 1st XV trooped off to Manchester to play the Medics RUFC. A team comprised of would be doctors and surgeons - average age 23. Fit, young, athletic, played cracking grade of schoolboy rugby & probably annoyingly immune to Saturday hangovers.
A quick journey for some, to find the neat pitch in the shadow of Manchester City's Ethiad Stadium. A problem for the three, who failed geography GCSE and following sat-nav exams.
A slight reshuffle in the pack brought the skipper, Will Dickenson back to the starting line up at prop and also Dominic Styler back onto the wing.
The late arrivals made up the bench; back from far eastern adventures Pete Shorthouse and James Cathcart and Luke Hayton back from injury sustained from lifting an oversize pork pie.
All the prep talk was one off keep possession and don't give the young opposition a sniff of easy breakaways from turnovers.
So when maroons were standing under the posts after 5 minutes, the Medics having intercepted a speculative pass and raced 60 metres to score; the coach and captain were not best pleased that instructions had fallen on deaf ears.
In fact he rest of the first 40 was one to forget, when the Medics were for the most part, in complete control.
The set piece was problematic and the first up tackling was certainly not up to the standard required.
Of the five tries Clitheroe shipped, most came from Clitheroe laxity and generosity of pocession to the young doctors.
After the first half disaster , the traveling support were mightily nervous about the outcome of the second period.
A further reshuffling of resources saw Ross Chamberlain move up to prop, which helped to shore up the scrums and Cathcart & Shorthouse came on at fly half and flank respectively.
Clitheroe began to play some actual rugby in this period, with the likes of Sam Tarbuck taking on defenders and Matt Bleasedale and Paddy Bowyers looking lively in the back line, some progress was made.
The sole Clitheroe score was a nice effort from Joe Weld-Blundell, having switched to scrum half, who sliced through the defence after some good approach work from Jarvis Stanton, who had a solid game, and the veteran Ralph Rigby.
The diminutive scrum half had a lot to do, and was good value for the score .
The fact that Clitheroe restricted the Medico's to just one try in the second half said a lot for grit, personal pride and team ethic. But that is really considered a prerequisite for pulling on the jersey anyway.
Clitheroe will be looking forward to softer conditions at Littlemoor, that might suit them better for the return match in January
The side need to regroup at training Tuesday/Thursday this week with a massive local derby against Burnley coming up this weekend at Littlemoor.