Clitheroe 15

Burnley 45

SIMON Finnan admitted Burnley's first win in nearly a year was a weight off the shoulders of everyone connected with the club.

And the head coach of the Holden Road club is now looking for the team to stop the rot and kick on following their derby victory at Clitheroe in Lancashire County League Division One.

Burnley ran in seven tries as they tasted victory for the first time since beating Bolton 27-22 on October 28 last year in their ill-fated North Lancs/Cumbria campaign where they finished bottom of the table and were relegated.

"It's always great to get a first win of any season, and after nearly 12 months, even more important for the club to stop the rot hopefully.

"I think, as a team, it's massive as there will be lads in the squad who were winning their first game for the team.

"Personally, it lifted weight off the shoulders as I knew the side is much stronger than results have shown.

"Now it's time to push on and win a few more."

Burnley made the short trip to Littlemoor with a squad of 19 players and Finnan was impressed with the determination, skill and never-say-die attitude displayed from his team.

Spaniard Pedro Martin Crehuet was the first to cross the line, finishing off a great team effort by dabbing down under the sticks and James Redford slotted over the conversion.

Clitheroe hit back with a penalty from Matt Furbush before Burnley's powerful pack created a second try scoring opportunity with Rick Griffiths providing the pass for Crehuet to score his again.

Then following numerous strong forward carries and pick-and-goes, club stalwart Danny Marshall dived over the line with Redford adding the extras and Burnley led 19-3.

However on the stroke of half time, Will Dickinson crashed over in the corner to make it 19-8 at the break.

But that was were the fightback ended as Burnley crossed for a fourth try soon after the restart, Danny Rowland catching the home team off guard with a quick tap and go with Rowlands adding a superb conversion from out wide.

Burnley then scored their try of the game with Griffiths, Dom Murphy and Rowland all involved before Ash Rothwell had enough pace and power to get to the line. Redford converted.

Burnley now had the upper hand now and Carl Griffiths duck under a would be tackler to score before Clitheroe replied with a try of their own through Joe Weld-Bundell with Furbish converting.

But Burnley had the last word when Adam Healy sprinted away and scored between the sticks with Griffiths adding the conversion to seal the points.

The only downside for Burnley was a bad looking injury to two-try hero Crehuet who limped off with knee ligament damage.

The victory moves Burnley up to sixth place in the table following last week's 'walkover' win against Eagle.

Finnan said: "The side, in parts, have started the season well. The second half against Wigan showed how we should be playing and then, for 60 minutes against Clitheroe, the lads were unstoppable.

"However these can't be one-offs as there are more challenges ahead."

Finnan hasn't ruled out a top two finish in the newly formed league which he says is difficult to predict given results in the first five games of the season.

"Viewing results every week the league is throwing up so interesting results," he said. "It's hard to predict any of them but that makes for a fun season and we all have a chance of taking the top two slots for promotion."

Burnley play in the League Cup this weekend when they entertain Manchester Medics.

Finnan said: "I've been in the game for 20 years as a player and coach but I'm yet to meet up with them. So it'salways enjoyable to meet new players and officials."