CLECKHEATON were denied victory against old adversaries Pocklington following late drama in last Saturday’s North One East clash.
Pocklington had produced a thrilling fightback to come from 23-9 down and reduce the arrears to 23-21.
In a nervy finale, Cleckheaton appeared to have been handed a chance to clear their lines and seal victory when they were awarded a free-kick.
However, the decision was reversed and Nick Bennett kicked the resulting penalty as the hosts snatched a dramatic victory.
It was an unlucky finale for Cleckheaton but ultimately a lesson in shutting out matches after the hard work was done.
The sides had not met for 12 years but they provided an entertaining contest.
Pocklington opened the scoring with a penalty from full- back Bennett but the response from Cleckheaton was almost immediate with Ross Hayden striking a fine penalty with his first attempt at goal.
The two marksmen swapped further penalty efforts to level the scores at 9-9 as the half time whistle approached.
Cleckheaton had performed well in the forward exchanges and from an attacking line Oliver Akroyd secured good possession.
The ball was driven on by the pack creating the space for Jack Bickerdike to feed winger Martin Woodhead who sped in for the game’s first try. Ross Hayden converted and the visitors were in the ascendancy.
The half had reflected much endeavour from both sides but it was Cleckheaton who extended their lead in the 42nd minute with hooker Steve Worsley’s third try of the season following patient build up play from the forwards. Hayden once again tagged on the extras.
At this point the game appeared to be in the bag for the confident Cleckheaton side.
However a combination of Pocklington’s resourcefulness and the visitors naivety changed the face of the game in the third quarter of the match.
This was now a time for cool heads and a hard nosed approach. Instead tackles were missed and penalties conceded allowing Pocklington to edge back into the game.
Tries from winger Billy Higgins and an exceptional solo effort from back row Jack Holbrough, one of which was converted by Bennett, reduced the deficit to one point with fifteen minutes to go.
Both sides had further scoring chances until the late confusion which eventually gifted Bennett the chance to kick the winning penalty for Pocklington.
Defeat leaves the Moorenders eighth in the North one East table ahead of their important home game against third-bottom Malton and Norton.
Cleckheaton Under-13s maintained their impressive start to the season with a hard-fought 10-7 victory over Old Rishworthians.
In an entertaining game between two evenly matched sides, Drew Judge-Clark sprinted across the line to score Cleckheaton’s first points in the opening minute.
A quick tap penalty from Joe Tilby-Baxter saw him send Cieran Lewis crashing over for the second try.
The game was held up for 30 minutes after Harrison Baxter suffered a head injury but thankfully he was able to walk to the waiting ambulance.
Cleckheaton were slow after the re-start and Rishworthians pulled a converted try back.
MoM James Walker and Harry Sutcliffe produced try saving tackles late on as Cleckheaton held on for victory.
Cleckheaton Under-16s suffered a 25-7 defeat to Old Rishworthians.
They fell behind to an early penalty and an unconverted try but Jacob Panther charged down a kick to score and Mikey Bray converted to bring them to within two points.
Joe Humphreys looked to have sent Josh Healey over in the corner but he was pulled back for a forward pass.
Niall Davison and Charlie Humphreys defended well, while Jordan Rosany and Liam Wright went close to scoring after dummies.
Despite the efforts of MoM hooker Marcus Fletcher, Cleckheaton tired and were unable to prevent Rishworthians scoring two converted tries in the final five minutes.
Cleckheaton Lambs defeated Keighley 26-8 to record a third straight league win in Yorkshire Senior Colts League Division Two.
Josh White crashed over for the opening try and Kieron Downs converted as Cleckheaton led 7-3 at half-time.
White added a second try, crossing at the left corner and Jack Seddon then continued his scoring, with Danny Clark converting from wide out.
Seddon also added a second try when he received a pass from Calum Green to cross between the posts.
Clark again converted to secure a bonus point win ahead of Sunday’s tricky trip to Selby.