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 ?
The visitors ran down the clock by keeping possession through a series of close-range scrums until replacement flanker Liam Carpenter finally squeezed over for a converted try.
Well, in Uruguay last weekend, Plaza Colonia goalkeeper Kevin Dawson Blanco finally cracked as Rampla Juniors ran down the clock in a Primera Division game while leading 1-0.
Morpeth tried in vain to equalise again but the home side comfortably ran down the clock.
The All Blacks showed their experience though, and ran down the clock as South Africa's chances washed away with a late knock-on.
The visitors battled on, but only managed to score once more as Boro ran down the clock and take another victory.
Jameson pulled off two good saves as Quakers ran down the clock for three points to keep the pressure on Salford.
Although former Everton midfielder Dan Gosling reduced the deficit for Bournemouth - and then hit a post as the Championship leaders rallied briefly - Liverpool ran down the clock comfortably enough.
That gave Romania hope but Greece's backline proved up to the challenge as they ran down the clock.
The Nuns tried to throw the ball around but to no avail as the hosts starved them of possession and ran down the clock with huge success.
The closing minutes of the game saw North Ferriby camped in Colwyn half, but, apart from beating away a shot from Gary Bradshaw, home keeper Sanna did not have a save to make as Bay ran down the clock.
With two minutes left, Huddersfield were awarded a penalty, but instead of taking a kick at goal, elected to kick for touch, but after winning the line-out, the referee ruled forward progress had been halted, and awarded a scrum to Sheffield, which ran down the clock.
Rosario took over after that, carrying on eight of the next nine plays as Southbridge ran down the clock to 1:50 before turning the ball over on downs at the Bartlett 24.
The last-wicket duo began their stand six runs behind but managed to sneak themselves in front and then ran down the clock to deny Australia the chance to bat again.
Tony Craig's header three minutes later tested Warner, but the Lions did not trouble the visiting goalkeeper again and Leicester comfortably ran down the clock to earn all three points and continue their march towards Championship football next season.
Bradford rallied with a Jeffries try but Deacon missed the kick and Warrington ran down the clock.