Gordon holds nerve to land penalty as Cleckheaton win thriller

Cleckheaton 18

Malton & Norton 17

CLECKHEATON secured a fantastic comeback win in the final North One East outing of the season last Saturday.

The visitors took advantage of Cleckheaton’s initial lethargy to score a converted try from captain Ian Cooke.

Cleckheaton broke the defensive line several times, using a well practised set-piece, where the returning Dave Freeman was commanding the lineout but Malton thwarted several attacks.

Malton had no such problems and added two further tries from winger Ali Heard and prop Nick Salisby to lead 17-0 at the break.

Cleckheaton appeared to be out of the game but the five-minute half-time interval allowed the home side to refocus and to their credit they regained composure and began to work their way back into the game.

Lineout possession won by youngster Matt Beasty was driven to the line and Richard Piper was awarded his customary try.

Five minutes later excellent handling sent in winger Martin Woodhead for another try, both conversion attempts were missed narrowly by Iain Gordon, who was kicking into a considerable breeze.

After a long injury break for a head injury, which saw Malton prop Liam Vaughan require lengthy treatment before being taken to hospital, Cleckheaton continued in the same vein and pressured the visitors’ line for long periods.

Replacement Joe Goiti squeezed in at the corner before Gordon’s conversion again went wide. The intensity of the match increased and Cleckheaton had the chance to take the lead for the first time but Gordon was wide with his penalty attempt with 10 minutes left.

Gordon had a second chance to take the plaudits, with another penalty from a difficult touchline position but he duly obliged to edge them home side ahead.

In the last minute Malton’s Tom Newitt had the chance to win it but was wide with his penalty effort from 40 metres.

n On Wednesday Cleckheaton are home to Hull in the Yorkshire Cup semi-final, kick-off 7pm.