Burnley Take the Spoils at Littlemoor
By Roger Holmes
Local derby - great event - hard work
The much anticipated first local derby of the season saw Burnley and Clitheroe lock horns for the very first time at 1st team level.
But it was the Holden Road men who took the bragging rights back over Pendle after easing to an ultimately comfortable victory. The gulf is not huge or insurmountable as the scoreline may suggest. However Clitheroe need to up their game to remain competitive in this division.
The injury jinx hit again, Sam Tarbuck was a late withdrawal on Friday evening and fellow back row man, the other ST, Sam Thornber hobbled off with a knee problem before the end of this bruising encounter. Clitheroe will need some of the other returnees from the physio bench to prove themselves at club training to take those opportunities for places this week.
In the first half Clitheroe were blitzed by a rampant Burnley side who played with a high tempo, so much so Clitheroe were left clinging on for large periods of the half.
After 35 minutes they had hardly set foot out of their own half and shipped three tries in the process, with a solitary Matt Furbush penalty in reply.
As the interval drew near at last some momentum was created with some close quarter attacks from Andrew Rigby and Thornber before the skipper Will Dickenson,[pic] who had a strong game in adversity, crashed over in the corner to give the home support some hope at the half time oranges.
Clitheroe came out with purpose in the second half and laid siege to the Burnley line. Pocket battleship scrum half Joe Weld-Blundell probed around the fringes and was well rewarded with a try after fifteen minutes of the half. Furbush converted and the Littlemoor faithful had dreams of a comeback .
Just a pipe dream in reality as Burnley went on to score four more tries with no further scoring for the maroons.
Even so they kept attacking strongly right up to the final whistle but despite camping on the Burnley line for the last fifteen minutes the visitors stone wall defence kept them out.
So as ever a learning curve. Improvements were seen in some departments and new combinations with gel with time. Special mention to Paddy Boyers and Josh Dolan who were solid in unfamiliar territory and Furbush proved a strong runner all afternoon.
A break from league action this week when the 1st XV visit Ashton under Lyne in the Lancashire County RU Shield competition. 3pm ko