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Opening victory fails to paper over cracks
9:00am Saturday 21st September 2013 in Sport
EAGLE kicked off their North Lancashire/Cheshire Division Two season with an unconvincing victory at home to Clitheroe.
The hosts were looking to follow last week’s impressive Lancashire Bowl victory with an equally convincing start to their league campaign, but instead found themselves on the back foot from the outset.
Having had an early try shout rejected, Eagle went 7-0 down once a kick to touch bounced fortuitously for the visitors’ winger, and though they drew level thanks to Jack Bainczyk’s first try, Eagle struggled to impose themselves.
The resulting arm wrestle down the middle led to both sides making the most of their penalties, with Eagle again drawing level through Jason Jackson’s quick tap after Clitheroe had opened a 12-7 lead.
Coach Ryan Acton’s words at half time luckily worked to spark some life back into Eagle’s play, resulting in Jack Bainczyk crashing over for his second to hand the hosts their first lead of the game.
Yellow cards for both teams within a minute of each other opened up some space, which Sam Cook exploited before Scott Gerrard extended their lead off the back of a Jay Jackson penalty.
Gerrard added another in reply to Clitheroe’s fly-half break and try, and Bainczyk and Ian Farrar both offloaded in the build-up to Eagle’s final try, which was scored by Liam Sergent in the corner.
A brighter second half could not paper over the early-season cracks and Acton will be looking for improvement when Eagle travel to league newcomers Broughton on Saturday.
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