Clitheroe 2s triumph at Bury
Hat - Trick for Bleasey
It was a bright and breezy Bury away day for the cavaliers this week.
The cavaliers gathered in what was a pensive mood, saddened by the understandable absence of one the stalwarts andy ‘tubber’ Thornber (best wishes Tubs), continued absence of Pete Shorthouse and also John Norman. Worse news came on the day when Rick Few was invalided out.
On the day the versatile Niall Spence and super Murray were welcome additions to what is starting to look like a fairly settled and potentially decent offering.
The pack comprised the now familiar trio of hookers in the front row, captain Jaime and super Kirk Kenyon in the second row, Nobbs Pete Farnsworth and Niall making up the eight.
The three quarters showed promise. It possessed a nice blend of experience at 9 in the form of Dave Watson, reckless tacklers in the form of Si Gretton, Graham Hansen and Austin Wensleydale and courtesy of Matt Fairbrush, Matt Bleasdale and Luke Mcmahon enough hair care products to stock a fair sized hair dressers.
The bench was certainly heavy weight with Murray joining Steve Dowson and Pund.
The game began with clitheroe kicking off and duly being awarded a scrum on the edge of the Bury 22. The Bury pack were a solid strong pack who gave a good account of themselves earlier in the season. Today however they got pasted.
From the scrum mcmahon and Furbush combined beautifully and fairbrush ran a delightful line through the Bury backline, sadly he forgot the ball, one of the only mistakes of the day, and the second scrum was on. Adam Penny was the hooker elect with Pete Wombat Mitchel at loosehead and Will too cool for a nickname Jones continuing to learn tighthead. The trio ably asssited by JT and Kirky in the second row contrived to win the put in against the head allowing Watson to feed Mcmahon who spread it out to the centres where Bleasdale,(pictured) desperate to impress his girlfriend, squeezed over about 10 m in. Mcmahon slotted the extras.
Bury roused themselves and started to put their heavy pack to good use, luckily the men from Littlemoor were up for some tackling practice, Niall, Wombat and Pete Farnsworth each putting solid hits with the fringe defence working hard it came as a bit of a surprise when Bury crept over the line despite the best efforts of the matts in the centres.
With a scoreline of 7-5 after about 20 minutes you might think game on but not today. The cavaliers began to dominate each aspect of the game. It started with the set piece performance where Bury became unable to guarantee possession at either scrum or line out time meaning the cavaliers backline started to enjoy some decent possession.
Three quick tries were scored in the 10 minutes before half time each try well crafted and well executed, first Mcmahon, then Furbush went over. The forwards whose dominance had laid the path for the backs were not to be outdone Pete Farnsworth broke through the first line of defence and then threw an outrageous behind the back pass sadly to the Bury flanker who was lurking, luckily Will Jones’ gravitational pull dislodged the ball allowing him to regain possession allowing Nobbs to pick up and flop delicately over the line for another five pointer.
At the half Murray made a welcome return to Clitheroe colours as Will Jones took 10. Clitheore scored a lovely try immediately and sure enough it was Matt Bleasdale touching down again sadly his girlfriend was too busy chatting up Harry Pund to notice.
Again the forward decided to join in this time it was the bombastic Wombat who crashed through, what has to be said was a hard working and committed Bury defence, after some lovely hands from a rejuvenated Adam Penny, his soft hands (which he puts down to moisturising) set the Wombat off on his path.
At the 50 minute mark Dan Jones replaced Jamie and Will Jones returned in the place of Adam Penny who was taking 5 after his soft hand moment.
Dan Jones first act was to clatter the Bury flanker who had latched on to a loose restart into touch in what was a contender for tackle of the season. The Bury player did not return willingly.
From the ensuing line out the throw went not straight, ironically for a side boosting three hookers in the front row each of them got pinged at least once for a croocked throw fortuenatly the scrum dominance was such that the ball was back in Cavalier hands with Mcmahon darting past his opposite number and releasing the ball to allow Bleasdale to complete a well earned hat trick this time girlfriend saw the whole thing and will have noticed how well Mcmahon glided through the Bury defence to set him up.
A couple more changes saw Steve Dowson join the fray instantly bringing his trademark subtly to the pick and go game of the pack. The combination of Dowson and kenyon ensured a miserable day at the coal face for Bury became a nightmare, kenyon in particular shunted like a train throughout the 80.
One last round of changes saw Pund appear for his second outing in two days and Jaime return to lead his troops in a last effort towards victory.
Overall this was as complete a performance as we could hope to achieve as second string side, the backs were given a freedom they have not always enjoyed this year and boy did they deliver. Dave Watson and Luke Mcmahon looked like a father and son who’d practicised together for years and the three quarter line played off each other superbly and as for the pack they enjoyed a big shift.
Too many great performances to mention but man of the match contenders included Niall Spence, Luke Mcmahon, Matt Bleasdale and Matt Furbush any one of them would have been a worthy winner.
Report by WRJ