2's Gain a Vital League Point
Hard graft up north
Robbed of several players due to unavoidable work commitments and illness the second 15 convened for the annual pilgrimage to Hawcoat Park.
During the journey the XV organised itself. The cavaliers were up against it having to accommodate enough hookers to staff a small Dutch brothel into the XV. It also needed to identify a 9,12 and 11 out of the 12 forwards who travelled.
A big thank you to Andrew Tubber Thornber for playing 6, captain Birdseye (Jamie when his beard goes grey) for demanding the number 11 berth , Happy Pete Farnsworth stepping up to playmaker at 12 and Adam half-back Penny for claiming the nine shirt.
The race for hooker was won by Pete wombat Mitchell and there were welcome returns from injury for Ross and Miles. The remainder of the XV has a familiar look to it.
The first kick off went dead resulting in the first scrum of the game, which The Clitheroe pack dominated, sadly once the ball was released the cavaliers were in trouble. The next twenty minutes were astonishing as everything Park tried worked, except for the set piece. They were able to score 6 unanswered tries four of which were converted and three of which would not have looked out of place on rugby special. It could have been more but for some tremendous defensive work from the backs and forwards alike but Nobbs, Matt Bleasedale and Graham Hansen saved certain tries win strong tackling.
The game was halted after the 6th try to allow an injured player from another pitch to be moved. At this point Clitheroe were 38 -0 down.
The break galvanised the Clitheroe team, the pack finally started to win some ball and retain possession, due to some strong work at the breakdown by halfback penny and the evergreen Tubber. At this point Wombat fully justified his selection at hooker with a number of barnstorming hits in defence lifting the team, who all began to pick up the opposition runners and put them down. If only the cavaliers had started in that fashion.
Clitheroe were now rumbling and were very unlucky to concede another try, having put together a string of 10 phases by hitting the fringes of the breakdown and using the strength and experience of its pack to great effect, when the ball was released to the backs the excellent Park 10, who looked a year or ten offside, robbed Miles and then, for the fourth time, park proceeded to run the length of the pitch. The extras were added.
At the half Clitheroe were down by 50 and staring into the abyss.
Rather than implode the group pulled together and identified the areas of strength and played to them. The side took the game by the scruff of the neck and worked tirelessly to get something out of it. Wombat smashed into the opposition defence time and time and again with the returning Chamberlin growing into the game as he shrugged off the cob webs, a seemingly invincible Park side were rocked. The pack was able to secure a steady flow of possession and messrs Jones, Pund, Kenton and Aussie Dan ensured complete dominance at scrum time.
Clitheroe camped out in the Park 22 for the majority of the second half, with Wombat, Kenton, Tubber and Will Jones being held agonisingly short of the line on separate occasions.
Park were able to secure rare scrum possession and fed their 10 who was having the game of his life, he broke and then having made 30 metres threw a 20 yard reverse pass unleashing Parks rather talented centre partnership, finally undoing the Clitheroe defence allowing a fifth length of the pitch try, Clitheroe suffered a lapse from the kick off allowing Park over for the final time. At 64-0 most teams would have accepted the refs offer to blow up after 70 minutes but, when he heard this offer Richard Nobbs Thornber [pic] ‘politely declined’ the refs suggestion. Inspired by the older heads (and by a show of raw emotion from Nobbs) the team once again responded and the worked its into the Park 22 and eventually were awarded a scrum 15 minutes out.
The tight five marched the Park pack backwards and were rewarded for their endeavour by the sight of Chamberlin smashing over the Park whitewash carrying the Park back row with him as he went. Just reward for him after injury frustration and at least something for the team for the long periods of dominance in the last 60 minutes of the game.
The scorline of 64-7 makes hard reading, especially as the second half ended 14-7. The cavaliers can not help but feel disappointed that we started so poorly in what was a very competitve and enjoyable match.
Hats off to Wombat for a great performance rewarded with the man of the match award and a big thank you to everyone who made the journey and made what is always a difficult fixture enjoyable, after a disastrous start. Well done securing a Big Big point.
Report by WRJ