Cleckheaton’s hoodoo against local rivals Huddersfield YMCA struck again as they suffered a 31-24 defeat in National Three North last Saturday.
YMCA completed a league double over Cleck last season and again proved to be the Moorenders’ bogey side.
Indiscipline again proved costly for Cleck as they had two players sin-binned and conceded four first half tries.
Cleckheaton started brightly and a 30 metre break from Ollie Akroyd, gave field position for Michael Piper to coolly slot a drop goal.
Cleckheaton conceded a line-out from the kick-off and Stead went in for a converted try to put YMCA into a lead they did not lose.
Matt Piper was sin-binned for blocking a chase runner following a kick and the home side took immediate advantage as scrum half Simon Wilson darted through to sprint in for a long distance try.
Cleckheaton hit back as Michael Piper put Ross Hayden in at the corner and the impressive full-back, converted from the touchline.
YMCA stand-off Hawkyard, shot through a large hole for another try between the posts and the home side claimed a bonus point with their fourth try after 35 minutes.
Michael Piper chased down a YMCA attacker and grabbed the back of his shirt at the collar, pulling him down inches short but the referee awarded a penalty try and sin-binned the Cleckheaton man. The conversion was added and Cleck trailed 28-10 at half-time.
Youngster Sam Wood was introduced and went on to have an excellent first game for the club at this level and showed some undoubted class when he tuned two defenders to create a try for Craig Blackburn. Hayden added the touchline goal.
YMCA kicked a penalty goal but Cleckheaton were gaining the upper hand.
Cleckheaton drove YMCA back and Akroyd fed Wood for a try on debut.
Hayden maintained his 100 per cent kicking record with another difficult conversion.
Cleckheaton edged close to an equalising try and with six minutes left had a scrum 1 0 metres from YMCA’s line.
Completion of the comeback seemed a real possibility, but Cleckheaton were adjudged to have pushed early on their scrum and the free-kick allowed Huddersfield to relieve the pressure and hang on to the win, while Cleck took home only a bonus point.