CLECKHEATON powered into the Yorkshire Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday with a six-try trouncing of National League Two Sheffield Tigers.
A midweek fixture, with seven substitutes for each team, gave coach Dave Harrison the chances to look at several players, including Tom Crewe, Robin Bennett, Ben Thrower, Gareth Lamb and Jarrad Toulson who have played most of their games in the Kestrels.
Cleckheaton led with an Iain Gordon penalty after 10 minutes and soon after sent another penalty just wide. However, the visitors didn’t really clear their lines and from the ensuing possession Gordon’s drop goal made it 6-0.
The first try came after a scrum 30 metres out. Ollie Depledge found Ross Hayden who drifted wide before finding James Wilson who glided in for a try which Gordon converted.
Soon after a kick through from Gordon was collected by Martin Woodhead who took play to near the left corner. The Tigers’ defence was sucked into the ruck and Gordon and Matt Piper combined to send the ball 50 metres crossfield to put Wilson clear to race over again. Gordon converted.
The backs combined again as Cleck surged forward and Hayden fed Wilson who was held up over the line. From the scrum No8 Ryan Piercy picked and went blind and Rich Piper collected the recycled ball and crashed over for an unconverted try to make it 25-0.
Cleckheaton started the second half equally brightly to warm the home crowd on a chilly night. Gordon kicked through and an Wilson chased the Tigers’ fullback dived on the ball first but carried it over the line. From the five-metre Piercy barged over for a try.
Cleck powered on and Gareth Lamb, Martin Woodhead and Matt Piper carried the ball 50 metres. Richard Piper looked likely to throw the try scoring pass but the Tigers knocked the ball down and while the crowd wondered if a penalty would follow, Hayden gathered and went in at the corner.
Craig Blackburn was introduced for the last quarter and with one of his first touches he ran onto a pass from Toulson and had the strength and pace to breach the defence before feeding Wilson who claimed his third try of the night.
It was a great display as Cleckheaton denied their visitors a point. They are showing signs of building real momentum, which they will aim to take into tomorrow’s game at Northern.