Cleckheaton efforts in vain against classy Rossendale

Captain Richard Piper crossed for Cleckheaton but was unable to prevent his side slipping to defeat at Rossendale.
Captain Richard Piper crossed for Cleckheaton but was unable to prevent his side slipping to defeat at Rossendale.

Cleckheaton produced a performance to forget as they slipped to a 57-15 defeat to Rossendale in National League Three North last Saturday.

Cleckheaton were never allowed to get into their stride against a Rossendale outfit who had pace and power across the park.

Cleckheaton made headway in the early stages and spent the opening 10 minutes of the match in Rossendale’s 22 but the home defence proved solid to deny them.

Cleckheaton eventually spilled the ball and Rossendale capitalised, turning defence into attack and broke up the right flank with Curtis Strong scoring against the run of play. Steve Nutt added the conversion.

Cleckheaton went further behind when Rossendale turned over a scrum on the half way line and ran up the blind side with Moon crossing for a try which Nutt again improved.

A pattern was emerging and the trend continued with Cleckheaton trying to dent the home side’s defence but 30 metres from Rossendale’s line, the ball hit the floor and was hacked on by opposition winger, Foxen, who kicked on again and raced over for a 70 metre try.

Peel got Rossendale’s bonus point try to end a demoralising 30 minutes for Cleckheaton.

Nutt added his third conversion of the afternoon to give his team a commanding 26-0 lead.

Cleckheaton were down but not out and hit back before half-time when Iain Gordon, who has returned to the club after three seasons in London, chipped over the defence and Josh Hall collected for a try in the corner.

The conversion was missed but Gordon reduced the deficit to 26-8 with a penalty goal just before the break.

Cleckheaton felt they were still in the game as the second period got underway but within minutes Rossendale won a five metre scrum and their big pack edged their way over the line for No8 Ryan McKibbin to score.

Cleckheaton returned the compliment when captain Richard Piper forced his way over and Gordon converted.

Cleck were unable to further trouble the scoreboard as Rossendale were simply too good and with great awareness and pace to finish, scored another four tries bringing their total to nine on the day and a staggering 30 in the last three matches.