With the news filtering through that the Galwegians versus Bangor game had been postponed Clogher Valley had the chance to stretch their lead at the top of the league with a victory over third-placed Bruff.

Conditions at the Cran switched from miserable to horrendous and back to miserable again and it was difficult for both sides to play the rugby they wanted.

As with most games this season the physicality of the opposition caused early problems for the Valley.

Under the cosh for the opening quarter, the Valley defence was simply superb.

A Bruff penalty sailed wide before the home side started to gain more and more possession and control of play.

A strong foray into the visitor's half was the prelude to the opening try.

A pin-point dink over the top by Matthew Bothwell was chased down by Ewan Haire to gather, evade two defenders and score the opening try of the day with David Maxwell adding the conversion.

It was blow and counter-blow in the second quarter as both sides struggled to master the conditions.

As the half neared its conclusion the Valley earned a strong field position deep in the red zone.

Several penalties were run which were initially well defended by Bruff but the pressure had to tell and Jamie Allen crashed over for the Valley's second try.

It went unconverted leaving the Valley twelve points to the good at the break.

The second half started as the first had with Bruff in the ascendancy and the Valley again in defensive mode.

A thunderous Neill Henderson tackle must have shaken the foundations of the new hub as he epitomised the rear guard action being shown by the Valley.

Eventually turnover ball and a huge relieving kick by Callum Smyton broke the siege.

Five minutes later as Bruff were regrouping a Matthew Bothwell blindside snipe followed by a Paul Armstrong kick ahead caused panic in the visitor's defence and they erred.

A penalty to the Valley out wide on the right-hand side was won. The scrum option was taken and the pack shunted the visitors back over their line for number eight Callum Smyton to get the all-important touchdown with Maxwell duly adding the extras.

Bruff immediately forced their way back into the Valley 22 metre area but were hit with two long-range tries in the space of a few minutes.

First Paul Armstrong intercepted in his own 22 and raced some 70 metres with Bruff defenders hard on his heels to score a great individual try and earn a bonus point for his side. Maxwell again added the extras.

Immediately from the restart, Callum Smyton broke several tackles swivelled and found himself clear to run in from 60 metres out for a try that Maxwell then goaled.

Aaron Dunwoody set up the last try of the day as he broke several tackles in a race to the line but was hauled down just short.

Matthew Bothwell was on hand to gather and dive over for the Valley's sixth try of the day duly converted by Maxwell.

Bruff scored a late try of their own with the touchline conversion wrapping up the scoring for the day as it ended 40-7.

For the second week on the trot Ewan Haire was chosen as man of the match by match sponsors Farrell Fencing Products Ltd.

Next Saturday is a free Saturday with the AIL resuming on March 2 with the long trip away to Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.