Cleck eye perfect ten to maintain play-off charge

Rugby Union: Cleckheaton v Wheatley Hills at Cleckheaton Sports Club. (Cleckheaton are in the red and white kit). Richard Piper with the ball. (d09011265)
Rugby Union: Cleckheaton v Wheatley Hills at Cleckheaton Sports Club. (Cleckheaton are in the red and white kit). Richard Piper with the ball. (d09011265)
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Cleckheaton go in search of a tenth straight victory in North One East tomorrow (3pm) as they bid to maintain their challenge to clinch a play-off spot.

Nine wins on the spin, since being edged out 13-11 at Sheffield on December 15, has propelled the Moorenders into fourth place but they are just three points behind second-placed Morley.

Morley, Wheatley Hills, Cleckheaton and Sheffield are all battling it out for second place, which would set up a promotion play-off match against the runners-up in North One West.

The Moorenders ran out convincing 73-7 winners at relegated Darlington last week to maintain their play-off challenge and they know victory over Northern would pile further pressure on their rivals.

Sheffield, in fifth, are two points behind Cleckheaton with a game in hand after last week’s match with Pocklington was postponed and they face a tricky game at Malton & Norton tomorrow.

Morley play their final home game of the regular season tomorrow when Keighley visit Scatcherd Lane before they end with away games at Wheatley Hills and Sheffield.

Hills face the toughest run-in as they go to newly crowned champions Beverley tomorrow and, following the visit of Morley on April 13, they end with a trip to Cleckheaton on the final day of the season for what could still prove to be a winner takes all clash.

Cleckheaton captain, no8 Richard Piper added two more tries in last week’s emphatic win over Darlington, taking his tally to 26 for the season and he remains joint top of the division’s try scoring charts with Wheatley Hills’ Gareth Burns.

Cleckheaton 1stXV v Northern, ko 3pm, meet 1.30pm: R Hayden, J Wilson, L Queeley, M Piper, M Woodhead, I Gordon, J Bickerdike, P Turner, S Worsley, A Piper, R Piercy, G Turton, N Salama, O Akroyd, R Piper. Replacements: B Thrower, M Sargeant, C Blackburn.