Cleckheaton excel to down rivals Brods

Rugby Union - Cleckheaton (red and white) v Old Brodleians (black). Iain Gordan kicking the ball. (d31101166)
Rugby Union - Cleckheaton (red and white) v Old Brodleians (black). Iain Gordan kicking the ball. (d31101166)

Cleckheaton 39

Old Brodleians 15

CLECKHEATON turned in a terrific display to overcome highflying neighbours Old Brodleians last Saturday and take the derby spoils in front of a large Moorend crowd.

It was Cleckheaton’s fourth straight home win in North One East as they had clearly shaken off the disappointment of a defeat against Northern. This derby fixture, which provided two excellent games last season, is among the most anticipated of the year at Moorend and is usually a barometer for the true passion within a Cleckheaton side.

Nobody should need more encouragement than going head to head with players from a club located at the top of the next valley and with whom local bragging rights are at stake.

Cleckheaton were without three of their most influential players from last year’s games, with Richard Piper away on holiday, Pete Murphy out with a knee injury and Andy Piper, try scorer in the same fixture last season, still suffering with a back problem.

This gave an opportunity for Bob Depledge to make his first team league debut and 19 year old prop, Ben Thrower, to continue his run in the senior side.

Brods exerted early pressure but in the sixth minute home centre, Lee Queeley, took a great angle through a confused defence to set up the first try for winger Martin Woodhead. Iain Gordon added the conversion.

Old Brods stand-off Dan Wood reduced the arrears with a penalty, before Gordon restored the advantage and then extended it further with two penalties for the home side.

Cleckheaton’s forwards were beginning to look dominant but allowed Brods in for a converted try through hooker Rob Jennings, to close the gap to 13-10.

Joe Goiti out jumped his opposite numbers at the restart to retrieve the ball for Cleckheaton.

This lifted the Cleck pack and shortly after Paul Turner went on a rampaging run on the back of a break from Woodhead. The prop then smuggled the ball out of a tackle to the supporting James Wilson and the winger delicately stepped over for a try in the corner. The conversion was missed but Cleck led 18-10 at half-time.

It was all Cleckheaton in the early stages of the second half with scoring chances for Queeley and Ross Hayden going begging.

However, with Ryan Piercy looking more and more comfortable at No8 and the whole pack now gaining the upperhand, Mark Sergeant finished off a powerful rolling maul with a converted try.

Ed Chappelow added to the joy of the majority of the large crowd, when he took control of the ball following a Cleckheaton lineout 10 metres out and steered the maul over the line for Cleck’s bonus point try. Gordon added the extras to extend the lead to 32-10.

Bob Depledge was introduced for the last quarter and soon after made the tackle of the day.

Brods’ line-out on their own 22 was caught and competently set up by their forwards but before the stand-off could get the ball away, Depledge dislodged the ball with a fierce tackle.

Cleckheaton’s other back row forwards raced over and Bob’s brother, Oliver Depledge, spun the ball back and hooker Steve Worsley rounded the Brods winger for a try in the right corner. Gordon added the very difficult conversion.

Brods were rewarded with a consolation try for Louie Butler but this was an emphatic victory for Cleckheaton who dominated for the majority of the game.

If the team can take the same passion into tomorrow’s game at Old Crossleyans, they will surely register a first away win of the season.