Cleckheaton RUFC 31
This was a Cleckheaton performance to savour as they registered another good win in North East One at Moorend last Saturday.
The opening exchanges were even and both sides were clearly attempting to play flowing rugby. The visitors looked dangerous in possession, but the confident hosts were more than a match.
Morpeth scrum-half Matt Jinks had an early chance but his penalty effort was wide but he was successful in the 15th minute with an excellent long-range effort.
Cleckheaton continued to build momentum with forwards and backs combining well. After half an hour a solid scrum provided the opportunity for James Wilson to nip in at the corner after combining well with scrum-half Oli Depledge. Iain Gordon converted from wide out.
The home side were in control with Gordon dictating well, Murphy driving holes in the defence and Ross Hayden creating total confusion when running the ball back.
The rewards were two further first-half tries. The first was from full-back Hayden when after a multi-phase attack took play deep into the visitors ‘22, neat handling from Richard Piper and Turton allowed Hayden to score at the corner.
Hayden turned provider next when he raced down the left wing and fed the ball inside to centre Lee Queeley, who raced over between the posts allowing Gordon to convert.
In recent weeks Cleck have struggled to maintain pressure and performance for the full 80 minutes. Although Morpeth were more competitive in the early stages of the second half, it wasn’t long before the home forwards were back in control, providing plentiful ball for the threequarters to constantly test the visiting defence.
Wilson doubled his try tally when Gordon took the ball to the line, dummied the defence and provided the opening for the winger to crash over.
Morpeth hit back with a try from prop Karl Campbell but Cleckheaton finished stronger as Ed Chappelow capped a fine display with a bullish try in the corner, rounding off another Gordon break which was carried on by Joe Giotil.