Cleckheaton’s play-off hopes hang by a thread

Cleckheaton 'v' Northern.'Rugby Union North One East.'Richard Piper.'d307k316
Cleckheaton 'v' Northern.'Rugby Union North One East.'Richard Piper.'d307k316
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Cleckheaton must win their final two matches of the season and hope results elsewhere go their way if they are to book a North One East play-off place.

The Moorenders’ magnificent nine-match winning run came to an end last Saturday when they were frustrated by bogey side Northern and edged out 16-12.

That result allowed second placed Morley to move seven points clear of Cleckheaton and Wheatley Hills with two matches remaining.

Sheffield, back in fifth place, are a further point behind but they have a game in hand and could still finish second.

Cleckheaton play their final away game tomorrow (3pm) when they go to Keighley and they must pick up a maximum bonus points win and hope Morley lose at Wheatley Hills to take the race to a dramatic final day.

Cleckheaton host Wheatley Hills on April 20, when Morley travel to Sheffield, who face a tough game at champions Beverley tomorrow.

Whatever happens in the final two matches, Cleckheaton can be proud of their efforts since the turn of the year.

Captain marvel Richard Piper is still in the hunt to become the division’s top try scorer and he crossed for his 27th of the season against Northern.

Weekend selected sides (ko 3pm)

1st XV at Keighley, meet 12.30pm: R Hayden, J Wilson, L Queeley, M Piper, M Woodhead, I Gordon, J Bickerdike, P Turner, S Worsley, A Piper, R Piercy, G Turton, N Salama, O Akroyd, R Piper. Reps: B Thrower, M Sergeant, C Blackburn.

Kestrels v Keighley, meet 1.45pm: T Brook, A Stanley, T Crewe, G Lamb, P Horrigan, J Toulson, M Fletcher, C Piper, JL Haigh, L Goldthorpe, M Beasty, C Mason, C Brannan, J White, D Graham. Reps: J Seddon, L Bashforth, H Bairstow, R Bennett, R Motlib. 3rdXV at Keighley, meet 1.30pm: A McCarthy, C Davis, A Edwards, M Howard, C Wilson, L Beasty, R Noble, A Porritt, B Depledge, A Lowe, M Womersley, M Wood, AN Other, J Sheridan, R Simpson. 4thXV v Morley 3rdXV, meet 2.15pm: B Womersley, A Tilby-Baxter, N Lazenby, J Firth, A Brown, J Perks, S Fletcher, M Blakely, D McGuigan, D Howe, J Womersley, M Nicholson, A Clough, B Thornton, R Brown. Reps: A Bailey, I Webb.