LUCTONIANS struck a key victory at the top of National 2 West, with a 22-27 win on the road at second placed Clifton, in another superb game of rugby between two quality sides.

On a dank November day in Bristol, the Herefordshire men never trailed in this fixture, but certainly knew they were in a contest as the lively hosts kept them honest throughout.

The first half an hour of proceedings was played out largely in the middle third of the pitch with both sides failing to put together concerted periods of pressure.

That was until 32 minutes in when finally, the deadlock was broken with Charlie Grimes scoring his league leading 14th try of the campaign, after slick hands from the visitors’ backline put the winger in down the right-hand flank for an unconverted score.

Lucs could not field the resulting restart and Clifton’s efficient attack took no time at all to create the opportunity for flanker Kofi Cripps to power over from close-range and tie the scores on 36 minutes.

With first half time almost up hooker Ben Link crashed over for his 11th try of the season and with Louis Silver banging over the conversion, Lucs took a handy 5-12 lead into the break.

Luctonians got off to the perfect start after the interval as fly-half Tom Jones pulled out a pin point cross-field kick to the corner for Giles Morell to collect and score making the score 5-17 with 42 minutes gone.

Things looked really good for the visitors when four minutes later Clifton’s flanker Daniel Broady was sent to the sin-bin for what appeared to be back chat.

From the resulting penalty Silver slotted three points to take the lead out to a three score margin.

Despite being down a man Clifton struck back as centre Will Owen powered through two would-be tacklers for the try, which was converted by fly-half Rory Taylor, who is on loan to the Bristol based side from Premiership outfit Gloucester.

Eight points behind Clifton dominate the next 20 minutes and eventually the pressure told as winger Zak Hamid went over to draw back to one-point with four minutes remaining.

However, Silver pulled out a wonderful cut-out pass to the right wing to release centre Rob Aikman, who raced down the touchline, tying up the bonus point and all-but sealing the win. Silver knocked over the crucial conversion on 78 minutes to confirm the victory and despite Clifton claiming a penalty with the final kick of the game Lucs ran out 22-27 winners.

Luctonians’ ninth win in ten fixtures maintains their eight-point lead at the top of the division. Lucs are back at home this weekend as they host ninth placed Chester.