Cleck joy at five-point league win

Driffield 20

Cleckheaton 34

Cleckheaton maintained their recent good form with a sound five-point away win to complete a league double in North One East.

Cleckheaton started with the slope and stiff breeze at their backs and put pressure on the hosts with a series of pick and drives within their ‘22.

In the seventh minute this continuous pressure resulted in a score from close range by second row Ryan Piercy. Stand-in kicker Ross Hayden just missed the conversion.

From the restart Driffield came more into the game as both sides were allowed to initiate turnovers in possession especially at the numerous rucks. The home side engineered a overlap on the right in the 19th minute and their winger scampered over for an unconverted try.

Cleck replied with close control among the forwards and within two minutes hooker Steve Worsley was twisting and turning his way over for an unconverted try.

Composure restored, Cleck started to move the ball wide and with left wing, Lee Queeley, causing defensive problems with powerful surges, the inevitable gap appeared and Queeley scored with ten minutes of the first half remaining.

In that period the excellent Piercy scored his second try of the day, this time breaking several tackles in a 15-metre dash for the line. Hayden converted to take the half-time score to 22-5 in Cleck’s favour.

As so often has happened this season, after a good first half Cleck’s concentration at the beginning on the second fell off and sloppy defensive work allowed Driffield to score a converted try. They soon added a penalty and with the score 22-15 it was turning into a surprisingly close affair but Cleck got their heads back together and moved upfield.

After some good attacking, scrum-half Ollie Depledge found a gap for Jonno Marshall, who raced for the line to score half-way out. Hayden converted.

With 20 minutes to go, Cleck laid siege to the Driffield line with a series of close-quarter drives but, despite getting over the line on at least two occasions, were unable to ground the ball.

A poor Cleck clearance kick the hosts’ top scorer Lee Birch unmarked and he sliced through a stretched defence for a try which he then converted.

Hayden settled any late nerves for the travelling faithful as he scooted in from 20 metres for his 20th try of the season.