Cleck seek a derby hat-trick

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CLECKHEATON make the short trip to Hipperholme in North One East tomorrow aiming to record a derby hat-trick over old Brodleians (kick off 3pm).

Dave Harrison’s men produced arguably their best display of the season when they defeated Brods 39-15 at Moorend in October and they followed that up with a 26-12 triumph over their rivals in the Boxing Day friendly.

Coach Harrison will send his side out with a clear message to complete the hat-trick, saying: “We have a couple of big games coming up, with the chance to complete a treble over Brods and then the double over Old Crocs the following week.

“Cleckheaton regard any game against the Brods as serious - as long as we win,” he joked, referring to the traditional festive clash when old friends tend to get together to blow away the cobwebs.

There will be no questioning the seriousness of tomorrow as Cleckheaton have a real chance of establishing themselves as the top local side in the division over the next two weeks.

Last week’s 17-13 victory over Morpeth last week leaves the Moorenders eighth in North One East, three points clear of Brods with a game in hand.

Harrison has already begun putting things in place for next season when a great emphasis will be on youth.

Teenagers Matt Beasty and Ben Thrower have impressed Harrison having been handed a chance in the first team in recent weeks, while the Cleckheaton Colts won Yorkshire League Division Four West last Sunday.

Harrison said: “Ben Thrower is only 18 and has made a couple of appearances at prop, coming off the bench, but last week he started at hooker and did well. He will definitely be in the squad this week.

“Matt Beasty is 18 but he has really come of age and has played in our last four games and come close to winning man-of-the-match in them all.

“The Colts have also done really well and we have around six of them training with us regularly with a view to putting them in the Kestrels, or first team, next season.

“Last Wednesday they beat Bradford and Bingley under lights and a number of the first team lads were down cheering them on.”

Pete Murphy took a bang to his head late on against Morpeth last week and was replaced by another Cleckheaton youth product Craig Blackburn.

Murphy could have, perhaps, gone back on but it was not risked, although he should be fit to take his place in the side against Brods.

Thrower is again likely to start at hooker for the derby but Harrison will include Steve Worsley on the bench and his experience could prove invaluable if the Moorenders are to complete the treble over their rivals.

Selected sides

1st XV at Old Brodleians, ko 3pm, meet 1pm, 1.30pm at Brods: J Marshall, J Wilson, M Woodhead, P Murphy, R Hayden, I Gordon, M Piper, P Turner, B Thrower, C Piper, M Beasty, G Turton, R Piercy, R Piper, J Goiti. Reps: S Worsley, C Blackburn, R Bennett.

Kestrels v Ripon, ko 3pm, meet 1.45pm: T Brook, L Beasty, T Crewe, G Lamb, A Stanley, J Toulson, M Fletcher, J L Haigh, R Motlib, L Goldthorpe, D Freeman, N Holland, E Chappelow L Bashforth, M Terry, Reps: D Graham, S Womersley, B Frazer, C Davis, W Denham.

Third XV v North Ribblesdale, ko 3pm. meet 2pm: C Wilson, C Aspinall, A Edwards, S Smith, A McCarthy, J Duggan, R Noble, S Roberts, A Porritt, A Corfield, L Ashley, J Summers, A Lowe, J Porritt, M Wood. Reps: P Crowther, M Howard, J Close, M Womersley, R Simpson.

Fourth XV TBA away, ko 3pm, meet 1.30pm: D Burton, A Brown, M Nicholson, I Langdon, B Womersley, SA Rowland, A Robinson, M Blakely, F Loker, B Finlay, J Womersley, A Womersley, G Dixon, D Webb, R Oldroyd. Reps: S Fletcher, S Curley, A Bailey, A Ellis, A Tilby-Baxter.