run down the clock

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run down the clock

In sports, to protect a lead by using up as much possible time that remains in a game or match without giving the opposing team a chance to score, generally by maintaining a passive or defensive strategy. With just a narrow two-point lead, the home team is trying to run down the clock to hold out for a win. I don't know, Jim, there's a lot of game time left for them to start running down the clock already.
See also: clock, down, run
References in periodicals archive ?
JACK RUSSELL (1990): Defied West Indies for 5hr 6min in Bridgetown with a painstaking 55 but then Curtly Ambrose took 8-45 as England, running down the clock, lost by 164 runs.
They were taking their time over throw-ins and running down the clock every chance they got.
Bradford made a total pig's ear of running down the clock when they were a point up but the result doesn't look so bad after Rovers' win at St Helens.
He said: "I think they were just running down the clock.
But they will be crestfallen to have conceded a last-minute equaliser to Thurrock's Cliff Akurang when they were running down the clock.
However, any thoughts the hosts had of running down the clock in the second half were soon quashed after Austria's half-time substitute Roland Linz reduced the deficit in 61 minutes.
We have taken on a team ranked 44th in the world, who have beaten Wales and they have been running down the clock.
By running down the clock and holding Los Alamitos to three second-half points, the Indians nearly pulled out a victory.
The forwards struggled to get clean ball and, until the last five minutes when Scotland were effectively running down the clock, the backs lacked penetration.
The league leaders were successful in running down the clock as time ran out for Newport and goal scorer Atkinson came close to doubling his tally, but Pat Mountain kept out his 84th minute shot.
We shouldn't be surprised because everybody knows how good they are on the ball and that extra technique allowed them to keep it, running down the clock and England's stamina as they tried to get it back.
They extended their dominance to 29 late in the third quarter at 77-48 and spent the whole of the fourth quarter running down the clock, the Bullets putting up little resistance.
That made it 30-3 to Richmond, who had been running down the clock all the second half but taking the chances available.
Astonishingly, serious people have defended, almost applauded, his behaviour, claiming it was part of a master plan to beat Barcelona by running down the clock and disrupting their rhythm.
Charlton's replacement, Colin Bell, did everything a manager could have wanted - always available to receive the ball, bringing others into possession, threatening the German goal when possible, running down the clock when not.