Cleckheaton target derby trophy victory

Richard Piper will rally his Cleckheaton side ahead of Saturday's crunch derby clash with Huddersfield YMCA.
Richard Piper will rally his Cleckheaton side ahead of Saturday's crunch derby clash with Huddersfield YMCA.

Cleckheaton target a crucial derby victory over Huddersfield YMCA on Saturday in a bid to boost their National Three North survival hopes.

Cleckheaton welcome their neighbours to Moorend for what should be a tasty pre-Christmas contest played in front of a bumper crowd.

The kick off for Saturday’s clash has been put back to 3pm as Cleckheaton host a pre-match lunch for 160 guests and the club are confident the game will go ahead.

With both sides in the lower reaches of the table, vital league points are at stake but there is the added bonus of playing for silverware.

The sides contest the John Bower Memorial Trophy but YMCA start as red hot favourites to return to Laund Hill with the prize having won 41-17 earlier in the season.

Cleckheaton would need a 25-point swing to take the aggregate victory and wrestle the trophy from YMCA’s grasp but they remain confident of turning the tables.

Fixtures secretary Mark Waite said: “John Bower was a great servant to our club and I’m sure Richard Piper will be telling the lads to go out and play like he would have done.

“It is a big day and one of our major fundraisers as the pre-match lunch is a popular event in our rugby calendar.

“This event has continued to grow over the four years we have held it at this time of year and we could have sold the room out twice over.”

The sides are separated by just four points as Cleckheaton lie second-bottom in the table and can not afford to lose if they are to avoid falling deeper into trouble.

Former Hull FC, Leeds Rhinos and Dewsbury Rams rugby league player Ewan Dowes could return for Cleckheaton having spent the last two weeks working in Dubai.

Dowes is good friends with Cleckheaton coach Scott Benton, who persuaded him to join the Moorenders.

Cleckheaton travelled across the Pennines last Saturday only for their game at Rossendale to be called off just 45 minutes before kick off after the two captains deemed the pitch unplayable.

Cleckheaton will also take a 23-man fourth team sqad to take on YMCA at Laund Hill.

1stXV v Huddersfield YMCA, ko 3pm, meet 1.30pm: Michael Piper, Mikey Hayward, Lee Queeley, Matt Piper, James Wilson, Ronan Evans, Jack Bickerdike, Paul Turner, James Crowther, Andy Piper, Ryan Piercy, Luke Pearson, Tom Austin, Jack Seddon, Richard Piper. Reps: Ewan Dowes, Ben Thrower, Brad Marsden.

4thXV at YMCA, ko 2.15pm, meet 12.45pm from: Dave Burton, Ben Womersley, Craig Aspinall, Nick Lazenby, George Speight, Russ Noble, Joe Humphreys, Max Blakely, Ady Lowe, Will Denham, Niall Jackson, Josh Womersley, Charlie McGovern, Danny Graham, Matt Wood, Miles Nicholson, Danny McGuigan, Danny Howe, Phil Manning, Anthony Hobson, Matty Plumpton, Adam Clough, Josh Movely. Cleckheaton will also take a 23-man fourth team sqad to take on YMCA at Laund Hill.

1stXV v Huddersfield YMCA, ko 3pm, meet 1.30pm: Michael Piper, Mikey Hayward, Lee Queeley, Matt Piper, James Wilson, Ronan Evans, Jack Bickerdike, Paul Turner, James Crowther, Andy Piper, Ryan Piercy, Luke Pearson, Tom Austin, Jack Seddon, Richard Piper. Reps: Ewan Dowes, Ben Thrower, Brad Marsden.

4thXV at YMCA, ko 2.15pm, meet 12.45pm from: Dave Burton, Ben Womersley, Craig Aspinall, Nick Lazenby, George Speight, Russ Noble, Joe Humphreys, Max Blakely, Ady Lowe, Will Denham, Niall Jackson, Josh Womersley, Charlie McGovern, Danny Graham, Matt Wood, Miles Nicholson, Danny McGuigan, Danny Howe, Phil Manning, Anthony Hobson, Matty Plumpton, Adam Clough, Josh Movely.