Deserved Draw for the 2's
By Roger Holmes
Exciting game at Littlemoor
Due to the Easter holidays availability was always an issue and so it proved as Clitheroe 2’s fielded a different looking side to the one that had done so well the previous weeks.
That said the spirit of the side has been very strong this year and with literally decades of experience coupled with more youthful skills this week proved no different.
The game kicked off on the traditionally heavy Littlemoor pitch and Vale as always proved very competitive. The first exchanges were pretty even with the Clitheroe pack in ascendancy early on. The returning Andrew Thornber combined with Murray and Tom Hardman, proving an effective front row.
It was Vale who opened the scoring with a well worked move but failed to add the extras but this seemed to galvanise Clitheroe who’s experienced pack went through the phases. From a driving maul, the Clitheroe forwards approached the Vale line with Dowson peeling off and flopping over scoring the try ; made easy by the work of the Kenyon, A Thornber, Murray and D Jones.
No extras added but this was clearly going to be a close game decided by fine margins.
Clitheroe maintained the pressure and the momentum the try had given them and following a penalty close to the Vale line, Captain Taylor used his initiative to take a quick tap penalty and power over the line to score Clitheroe’s second try.
Taylor had a strong game and is returning to the form he had last season. No extras added.
However the Vale side did not take this lightly and following a series of penalties their forwards scored a try which was converted to leave the score at 10 - 12 to the visitors at half time.
The second half resumed and Clitheroe went onto the front foot. Hardman, Kenyon and Jones made good carries and John Norman tackled everything that moved and had a great game. Thornber brought his experience into play and this showed in the set piece were reared. loose.
The combination of Watson and Fitzhenry (returning for a guest appearance) was working well and Furbush and Soenceley Jones were a thorn in Vale’s side all afternoon. Furbush’s strong running gave Clitheroe space to attack and Wensley and R Thornber were brought into the game on occasion and almost scored as overlaps were created. Wilkinson in at full back looked dangerous until injury forced him off.
It was Wensley who scored the next try for the hosts, using his strength to touch down against the posts for a try well deserved by his all round play. Wensley has had a great season and his commitment has been an example to all.
Vale however would not lie down and scored twice, once from a breakaway to lead 24-17 with a few minutes to go.
However Clitheroe did not give up. They hammered on the door of Vale’s try line with phase after phase. Eventually Kenyon powered over for his first try for the club on his return ( maybe his first try ever!). With it being almost the last play the conversion was crucial. Furbush, cool as a cucumber, from not the easiest angle, slotted it straight through the posts. 24–24 it finished and a fair reflection on the game.
Well done to Vale but this will prove a significant 2 points in the survival battle for Clitheroe 2’s.
Lots of good performances this day, from Spenceley Jones, Hardman, Furbush, Watson and Norman especially but man of the match goes to Kenyon (pic) for his carrying and all round work rate.