Selection poser for high flying Cleck

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THREE of Cleckheaton’s high flying rugby players have been ruled out of tomorrow’s North One East clash at home to Percy Park due to rather extravagant work commitments.

Maverick centre Tom Crewe will fly a staggering 97 hours in just eight days as his job takes him all round the world, in-form second row Joe Giotti has been sent on business to Mexico, while Ryan Percy is working in Sweden.

It is a blow to the Moorenders, who go into the Percy Park game (kick off 2.15pm) on the back of two terrific five-point derby wins.

They will hand late fitness tests to Jonno Marshall and Martin Woodhead, although both are unlikely to feature, so there could be a re-call for Pete Murphy.

The veteran centre has been out with a knee injury but if both Marshall and Woodhead fail to recover, he is likely to be patched up to play against Percy Park.

Coach Dave Harrison said: “It is unfortunate that we are without key players after winning our last two games.

“Joe has been the main reason why we have turned things around and has been in great form in the second row but his absence will give Matt Beasty the chance to step into the side.

“He has been training really well and has taken on board what we have told him. He has been playing well with the Kestrels and now gets his chance to shine with the first team.”

Beasty is the latest in a long line to come through the junior ranks at Moorend and his younger brother Lewis is currently being blooded in the second string.

Coaches at Cleckheaton see the younger Beasty brother as an exceptional scrum-half prospect, although he is being given open age experience on the wing.

Cleckheaton followed up the terrific derby win over Old Brodleians with a first away success of the campaign last Saturday when they returned from Old Crossleyans with a 41-34 success.

Harrison added: “The game was a little scrappy but we dominated and scored six tries to three. I’m from Halifax and have seen a Crossleyans match report, which is a little unfair on us, because I though we defended well and executed our tries.

“We spoke after the Crossleyans game about how that win has moved us up four places in the table but it means nothing if we can’t back it up against Percy Park, as we could easily drop back down a two or three places.”

Cleckheaton are up to fifth in North One East with five wins and five defeats from their 10 games.

They are just six points behind tomorrow’s opponents and know victory would close the gap further and set them up nicely for games against Middlesbrough, Team Northumbria, Sheffield and Gateshead.