Cleckheaton extended their impressive winning run in North One East to eight straight matches with a 29-7 victory over Middlesbrough.
It took the Moorenders just five minutes to take the lead in last Saturday’s clash when Iain Gordon sliced through and put full-back Ross Hayden in at the corner, with Gordon converting.
Powerful centre Lee Queeley burst through and provided a superb one handed pass out of the back of his hand to set winger James Wilson free and he cut inside for the second try.
Relegation threatened Middlesbrough made Cleck pay for some over ambitious play and poor relieving kicks, resulting in a close range try from Richard Lonsdale, converted by Jack Bircham.
For the next 20 minutes Boro remained in the driving seat as Cleck’s defence was indecisive and couldn’t find a way out of their own half.
Eventually, with half time fast approaching, Queeley burst through again, well supported by several others and Jack Bickerdike took the final pass to score near the posts. Gordon converted and Cleck led 19-7 at half-time.
Cleckheaton had the breeze at their backs and started to pin Boro into the corners.
The visitors defended manfully against sustained pressure but when Cleck spread the ball wide, Hayden entered the line and produced two audacious side steps, to score his second of the game. Gordon’s attempted conversion hit a post.
Cleck then utilised their well rehearsed catch and drive routine and there was an inevitable try for Richard Piper, who remains the division’s joint leading try scorer, as he extended his superb run to 21 tries.
Cleckheaton picked up another five points and took their winning run to eight and although they remain fifth, the gap between the other three sides vying for second place, remains tantalisingly close.