Wheatley Hills 25
CLECKHEATON suffered another North One East defeat last Saturday as Wheatley Hills proved too strong.
Last season’s matches between the sides were keenly contested close encounters.
On the evidence of the first half of this match it appeared the youngsters in the Cleckheaton pack were no match for a improved home forwards. They turned in a fine display, handing out a lesson in the art of the catch and drive and playing to your strengths.
Although Iain Gordon gave Cleckheaton an early lead with a penalty, Wheatley soon got into their stride with veteran srum-half Dave Scully dictating play. Their simple but effective approach created four tries in 20 minutes as mobile back row Craswell crossed for two individual efforts.
Hayward scored the bonus point try on the half-hour mark and fly-half Townsley kicked one conversion.
Cleckheaton took the oppotunity to rethink their tactics at the break and started the second period more positivley.
The introduction of Mark Sergeant, making his first appearance this year, went some way to combat the hosts. Cleckheaton where more able to keep the ball moving and not allow the home side to set their defences.
From a strong position on the Doncaster side’s 22 metre line, Gordon recognised a mismatch and attacked the line slicing through two would be defenders and stepping the full-back to score an excellent converted try.
The visitors were battling back and displaying some real courage and desire but unfortunately several try scoring chances were lost when they went for broke too often instead of building pressure.
The only other score of the second half was a penalty by Townsley for Wheatley.
It was another disappointing Cleckheaton performance with the forwards coming off second best to a more physical and aggressive unit. While coach David Harrison has several quality players still unavailable, he would be hoping the current incumbants learn from this experience and improve quickly for the visit of Durham City to Moorend tomorrow.
Cleckheaton Kestrels 54
Scunthorpe Fourths 18
The late withdrawal of Castleford on Friday was swiftly rectified when Alan Bentley arranged for Scunthorpe to send the fourth of their six regular sides to Moorend.
Tom Brook, returning from six months out injured, scored the first try which Robin Bennett converted.
Patrick Horrigan left with a torn hamstring but former Kettering player Tom Crew wrong-footed the defence to score between the posts and Bennett goaled.
Mark Fletcher, Gareth Lamb and Aiden Bullen released Lewis Beasty for his first try in open age rugby.
Ben Thrower barged over and Lamb was on the end of a flowing move to cross with Bennett’s two goals extended the lead to 33-0 before Scunthorpe replied with a penalty
Scunthorpe added a try at the start of the second half but the Kestrels had introduced Will Denham at the break and the Colts’ back row almost scored on debut.
The Cleck pack recycled the ball quickly and prop Liam Goldthorpe rounded off a fine game with a try converted by Lamb.
Scunthorpe added a second try to make it 40-13 before excellent passing from Bullen, Brook and Beasty set up Crew’s second try.
Nathan Clayton scored near the posts to bring up the half century and Bennett converted before Sunthorpe completed the scoring with a third try.