Cleckheaton romp to victory at Stockport

Cleckheatons Mikey Hayward scores the first of his three tries in the emphatic win over Stockport last Saturday. Picture: Gerald Christian.
Cleckheatons Mikey Hayward scores the first of his three tries in the emphatic win over Stockport last Saturday. Picture: Gerald Christian.

Cleckheaton hit their straps in fine style and went on a 10-try romp to demolish Stockport in National League Three North last Saturday.

The 62-0 win ranks amongst the highest scores Cleckheaton have posted in the last decade joining the 64-3 win over Old Crossleyans in March 2014 and the 72-7 away blitz at Darlington in March 2013.

It was a tremendous performance from the team who registered 31 points in each half.

Cleckheaton’s first try came from a line out inside Stockport’s 22 as the pack drove forward and Ryan Piercy forced his way over.

When Stockport failed to find touch from a penalty, Martin Woodhead powered free of his defenders and sent full-back James Wilson over. Ronan Evans converted.

Josh Hall added to the tally when Wilson’s ball back on the inside set the winger on a 35 metre sprint to the posts. Evans converting.

Scrum half Neil Chivers, secured Cleckheaton’s bonus point with a scoot over from short range before flanker Tom Austin got their fifth try of the half following another line-out as the visitors led 31-0.

Cleckheaton maintained the pressure when Luke Pearson leapt above Stockport’s pack from the kick off.

The ball was quickly moved from the back of the ruck and Mark Chivers fed captain Richard Piper.

Despite a number of forlorn attempts to halt his momentum, Piper drove from just inside Stockport’s half all the way to the posts for a memorable try. Evans added the extras.

Three sublime tries then followed from substitute Mark Heward.

The first came when the winger regained his own chip over the defence and soon after, Stockport spilled the ball deep in Cleck territory.

Woodhead gathered and off loaded to Piercy in the tackle, the second rower rampaged forward before passing to veteran Carl Mason.

The ball went out to Matt Piper who threw it wide for Heward to finish the move.

Heward’s hat-trick came when Richard Piper made valuable yards before the backs got the ball to Heward who rounded his opposite number for another converted try.

The last try of the day was amongst the best. It started 15 metres from Cleckheaton’s own line with a carry from Richard Piper, an off-load to Heward and good support from Neil Chivers.

Woodhead and Brad Marsden continued the move, with the latter feigning a pass to Keiron Downs before offloading in a tackle for Neil Chivers to step through a massive gap in the defensive line for Cleckheaton’s 10th try.

This was a top-drawer performance, with the fact that Cleckheaton nilled the opposition almost as satisfying as the 10 try haul.

The win provides a nice confidence boost before the expected tough challenge that close rivals Morley will throw down when they visit Moorend on Saturday.