Hot hard graft at Hawcoat
By Roger Holmes
Bus to nowheresville
With a last min coach booked a squad of 18 were in high spirits on the set off even if the coach was 45 mins late.
With the gentlest of warm ups even by the 2s standards done while park waited on the field for kick off.
The game started with a ferocity that would last the full 80 with the maroons getting the upper hand dominating the set piece but with players entering rucks at every conceivable angle and a distinct lack of control from the man in the middle tempers were tested on both sides & by the 20 min mark Hawcoat breached the Clitheroe defence to score 2 tries and one lot of extras.
To the amazement of the touring side making his return after injury Lewis Hardman, playing alongside his on form brother Tom, had to be subbed due to an unfortunate incident where no one on or off the pitch witnessed a bang to the head. Proclaiming he was fine that he had driven himself to Barrow in Furness, that was to be Lewis's last contribution of the day. Replaced in the shape of the back from injur,y Big Ben Tennant, who stormed the field straight into his first of many scrums of the day.
Clitheroe were camped in the opposition 22 piling the pressure Matt Bleasdale [pic] and the returning Mike Floyd's sideburns were making huge inroads into the defence, but somehow always just kept out of scoring. Until that is , a sweet little grubber from Stuart Railton at fly half sent Bleasdale's entourage wild as he set off in a race for the line. His hand on the ball using downward pressure as the ball contacted with the ground only for the ref to call it a knock on!
After the scrum witch resulted in Tom Hardman testing the strength of the Hawcoat Park props hand with his head with what can only be described as closed fist hand offs as the super friendly official was adamant no punches were thrown.
So to the second half with tempers slightly frayed still it was as you were with Tom Hardman showing his brother the way you play on after a slight bang on the head collected the loose ball and set off on a blistering run down the touch line powering through tackles until there was enough of the defence hanging off him to bring him to ground. After a couple of good phases the maroons tried one to many without the support and with the ball turned over saw the HP centres split the defence and run half the length of the pitch to score.
A few changes for the maroons saw Gary Fernandez making his first start this year off for the young Jason Proctor and Richard Murray on for the ever youthful John Pundy Proctor.
From the restart the maroons back in the opposition 22 came up trumps with a penalty - Railton nailed it clean to get, as it turned out, Clitheroes only points of the day
Other than Hawcoat scoring a couple more tries and extras all from within their own half. For all of Clitheroes possession and dominance at the set piece just simply were unable to get the ball down or get over that last five yards.
Work to do this week lets hope the finishing takes on a more clinical edge for the quarter finals of the cup another home game next week.