Cleckheaton impress in resounding home success

Cleckheaton v Rochdale. Rob Afoa Petersen
Cleckheaton v Rochdale. Rob Afoa Petersen

Cleckheaton produced a fantastic performance to earn a resounding 32-3 victory over Rochdale in North East One last Saturday.

Cleckheaton started well and when Rochdale stand-off Rob Neave was sin-binned for slowing down play, Ross Hayden kicked the penalty.

Excellent runs from Ryan Piercy and Rob Afoa Peterson set up good field position and the well rehearsed catch and drive sprang into action and Richard Piper went over for his first of the season. Hayden converted.

Rochdale replied with an Oli Coldman penalty but Hayden responded in kind.

Michael Piper pinned Rochdale in their own half with some accurate kicking and good pressure from debutant Patrick Horrigan forced another line-out.

Ben Thrower picked out Ollie Akroyd who set up the maul, which Richard Piper masterfully directed to the line for his second try to put Cleck 18-3 ahead at the interval.

After early second half pressure, Michael Piper threw a long pass for Ross Hayden to wrong foot the defence and score in the corner and he added the touchline goal.

Alex Dawson and Chris Piper were introduced, bringing the number of Pipers on the field to five in total, four brothers and one cousin

Cleckheaton were twice reduced to 14 men when Dawson and Matt Piper spent time in the sin-bin but superb defence kept Rochdale at bay, despite a sustained spell of pressure.

Replacement back row Robin Bennett made one notable scrabbling tackle, while there were also big hits from Andy Piper and Piercy

In the final minute, James Wilson intercepted a long pass and raced 90 metres to claim Cleckheaton’s try scoring bonus point. Hayden converted from the touchline with the last kick of the game.