Solid Derby Win for the 2nds
By Roger Holmes
Muddy but Victorious
After the drubbing at Holden Rd the return fixture to Littlemoor was always going to be a big deal - and so it was to be.
The mighty 2s lined up with plenty of experience with the starting front row pushing 140 years between them alone, but coupled with blistering pace and youth in the back line and now regular heavyweights in the pack this was a strong side.
With the toss lost Burnley started running up hill on the great Littlemoor leveller which considering held up well ; soft on the top firm underneath.
From the offset the 2s had an urgency an aggression keen it seemed to avenge the 2 defeats since new year. The Clitheroe scrum, with Roger Holmes out of retirement at hooker encouraged from the sidelines by Dave Watson, and supported by the ever youthful John Procter at loose head was going well, ball won shipped out the back by Simon Wrigley, certainly staking a claim to the 9 shirt since his debut , to Ant Gudgeon who cut inside cheeky little switch with Sam White, who went on a looping run scything through the Burnley defence to run half the length of the pitch to open the scoreboard no extras added.
So it began Burnley awoke and came charging phase after phase to no avail quick exit from inside the maroon 22 settled the ship, the resulting Clitheroe penalty saw a quick tap given to the skipper who went for a waddle down the pitch broke the first tackle then a second before running out of steam and going to ground with more hands in the ruck than can be mentioned Clitheroe won the penalty, up stepped Matt Probart cool and calm slotting neatly between the uprights.
With the maroons loosing the scrum from the restart saw the Burnley centre split the defence and score in the corner no extras added stern words were had by the maroons galvanising the defence setting the tone for the rest of the match.
A huge crunching tackle saw the end of the game possibly the season for the 2s big Aussie lock and his trademark big hits, get well soon Dan Jones, so to the changes Tom Hardman on, Ross Chamberlain stole his moment moving from tight head to 8 - allowing the 3000 steps a game Happy Pete Farnsworth back to his happy place in the second row.
Another penalty slotted by Probart 11-5 to the maroons. then big Burnley centre again made a break, Gudgeon with a 50 metre cross field sprint gave him a face full of the Littlemoor mud saw the half time whistle.
To the second half up hill with a cross field wind the resolve of the home defence would be tested. With the Burnley runners tasting the mud time after time with little ground made.
The changes at the half saw Richard Murray and Phil Winstanley getting stuck in, with Connor White now on at 9/10 depending on his mood -barking orders organising the heavyweights phases. Brother Sam receiving the ball started a run, then put a grubber through for young South African Shane Duthie [pic] to glide past the defence to touch down in the corner his first try for the 2s . No extras.
Again Burnley came; Shane needing the skippers help to bundle the Burnley flanker in to touch, the defence putting it all on the line not always pretty but effective, a couple penalties saw maroons back in possession heading up the hill with Chamberlain running hard lines causing a nuisance. Young Shane now off, swapped with the young-ish Simon Gretton.
Not to be out done by the new boy, Matt Bleasdale held on to a pass from Connor and lit the burners going over in the corner, while his entourage cheered from the stands. Probart measured the wind and nailed the extras 23-5 to the mighty 2s.
2 mins on the clock camped inside their own 22 work to be done 4 maroons holding up the Burnley player under the posts, the skip having a tactical lie down gave the pack chance to catch their breath big scrum 5 metres out, last play says the ref the pack roared in unison legs pumping for all there worth drove Burnley back off their own ball and that was that.
Special mentions to Jamie Taylor and Richard 'Nobs' Thornber causing a nuisance around the fringes, and Stu Railton coming on at flanker - could be a new home for the half back. 23-5 win a good all round performance got the job done.
Report by KK