run the clock down

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run the clock down

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 has started to run the clock down to hold on for a win. It seems like a risky strategy, Jim. There's a lot of game time left for them to start running the clock down already.
See also: clock, down, run
References in periodicals archive ?
When you are running the clock down in the game you have to keep the ball away from the opposition.
It would put the onus on the winning team to keep playing rather than shutting up shop and running the clock down.
It's been a long time since we saw Barca under pressure at the end and running the clock down like that," added the Spain international.
Even running the clock down in the last five minutes, normally someone crosses it, the keeper catches it and pumps it up the pitch.
The sight of Spanish striker Xisco running the clock down on his lucrative yet uneventful United career is a sad sign of a bygone era at the Magpies' Benton base.
We are light years ahead of that now but we still have to conquer the psychological demons that make our players give away penalties, as we are running the clock down, when we've done all the hard work.
It kept the Rams in the contest and with the Vikings appearing to be more concerned with running the clock down than getting a clinching score, the home side took advantage.
The forwards realised they were down to the last five minutes and they picked and drove, running the clock down.
They've simply been holed up in the Basra air base, leaving the Americans to deal with any resistance and running the clock down until the end of this month when the last of them can slink away from the place for good.
For an old No 8, the sight of the pack just taking the ball-up, under control and running the clock down was a beautiful sight.
I felt Middlesbrough were running the clock down and we needed to raise the momentum.
Pepperdine had a chance to take the lead, running the clock down for a last-second shot, but Montgomery was called for an offensive foul with 3.
It is quite fair that our players were making sure there was no sharp practice from London Irish in running the clock down, so we couldn't have a chance of scoring again.
For some reason, at exactly the time when we should be running the clock down and protecting what we've got - like we did in Belfast - people feel the need to chase games.
Praise has been heaped on him for showing an 'old head' and running the clock down.