Moorenders add another win to tally

Cleckheaton v Rochdale. Ross Hayden
Cleckheaton v Rochdale. Ross Hayden

They weren’t at their best but Cleckheaton extended their winning start to the North 1 East season with victory at Sheffield.

For the first time this season, Cleckheaton missed out on a try-scoring bonus point but they got off to a flier and Richard Piper was unlucky not to register the first try with only five minutes gone.

Cleckheaton’s start was anything but scintillating.

They could not get their line out or scrum working well in the opening 40 and the first two throw-ins and the first two scrums were both taken against the head.

While Cleckheaton were not under too much pressure themselves, due to the excellent kicking game of man of the match Ross Hayden, mistakes and penalties meant the Moorenders could not turn their majority possession into scoring opportunities.

However, the deadlock was broken on the 28th minute when a good kick and chase by Craig Blackburn set-up good field position and Hayden slotted a penalty over for the first points of the game.

Hayden doubled the score to 6-0 with another penalty a few minutes later.

Sheffield are a dangerous side however and they looked for an immediate response as they pegged the visitors back with a series of attacks.

They looked destined to cross the whitewash but on one occasion, they were only denied by a superb try-saving tackle from Matty Piper.

Ben Thrower was sin-binned but the visitors rode the storm and added to their tally when Jack Bickerdike looped around to bag the first try of the game.

The hosts got back into the game soon after when, following numerous waves of attacks, the pressure finally told with a try in the corner that made it 11-7.

Cleckheaton responded well and bombarded the tiring Sheffield defence with strong runs.

From one such barge from Matty Piper, Ollie Akroyd threw a nicely timed pass to Piper, who crossed under the sticks for a converted try that secured another Cleckheaton victory.

Lee Queeley, Martin Woodhead, Mike Piper and Rob Afoa Peterson are all available for selection on Saturday, when coach Ian Armitage will be aiming to make it five wins from five games.

Alnwick are the opponents who will visit Moorend this weekend.