Old Brodleians 18
CLECKHEATON scored two converted tries in the last six minutes of Saturday’s derby to clinch a North One East double over their hosts.
Brods led 18-14 entering the final quarter. They were pressing to extend their lead when Adam Standeven had a pass picked off by Cleckheaton winger Ross Hayden, who went almost the length of the field for a try converted by Iain Gordon.
Brods’ full-back Danny Wood then hit an upright with a penalty which would have levelled the scores.
A relieved Cleckheaton swept down the slope twice more late on to earn a bonus-point win.
The only points of the first half came from a third minute try as Cleckheaton mauled the ball to the Brods ‘22 and Gordon’s overhead punt caught out the home defence and Hayden pounced for a try converted by Gordon.
Brods’ spent long periods camped in the Cleckheaton ‘22.
Liam Scott and Luke Scrimshaw made half-breaks for Brods but were unable to make a telling pass in front of the posts.
Cleckheaton’s solid defence coped comfortably with some rather laboured attacks.
After 17 minutes Wood landed a penalty for Brods before Gordon’s long-range effort struck the crossbar and the ball was juggled by Richard Holborough before being cleared.
Excellent kicks from Louis Butler and Scott put Brods deep in Cleckheaton territory again and the yellow carding of Cleckheaton scrum-half Matt Piper paved the way for the home side to score 10 points and take a 15-7 half-time lead.
Former Cleckheaton favourite Ollie Akroyd, Joe Armitage, Butler and finally Scott benefited from a short-side move from a scrum and Standeven made a try out of nothing, cutting in from the left close to half way and then re-gathering his grubber kick to score 15 metres to the right of the posts. Wood added the conversion.
Cleckheaton’s experience and close-quarter driving skills were expected to come to the fore after the break and the visitors duly cut the deficit to one point on 50 minutes. From a lineout catch and drive, back rower Richard Piper plunged over to the left of the posts and Gordon converted.
The Cleckheaton stand-off then tried to run the ball out of his own ‘22, Cleckheaton were penalised and Wood made it 18-14 with a low straight kick.
Cleckheaton were reduced to 14 men for a second time when prop Paul Turner was yellow carded.
Brods stepped up the pressure but Hayden’s interception changed all that and after Wood’s penalty struck the upright, a refreshed Turner returned to score between the posts.
Chris Piper then forced his way over following a scrum near the home line. Gordon converted both tries.