Cleckheaton keep their season bubbling with cup quest

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CLECKHEATON RU club end the home part of their North One East season when they meet Malton & Norton at Moorend tomorrow (3pm).

The side have been very much lifted by their mid-week Yorkshire Cup win over Sheffield, which has earned them another semi-final appearance in the competition.

The draw for the ‘semis’ has been delayed because two quarter-finals have yet to be played but coach Dave Harrison remarked: “We would like to meet a good side at home, someone like holders Wharfedale, who are in National League One.

“It would give us a good test and show us how far we have come and would also give some of the youngsters a good learning experience. Everyone likes to pit themselves against good teams and this is a great chance.”

There was a good deal of satisfaction from the second half performance in midweek when Cleckheaton ran in three good tries to take a firm grip of the game.

Harrison added: “What was particularly pleasing was we had seven on the subs’ bench which gave us the opportunity to give some of the Kestrels first team experience. We were without such as Ollie Depledge, Ryan Piercy and Jonno Marshall, but the lads who came in stood up to be counted.

“Robin Bennett came on in the back row and played really well and earned a try for his efforts. He is not the biggest of players but he is very aggressive and just the type you need in that position.

“It was also very pleasing to see Dave Freeman come on in the second row and have a real impact in the 35 minutes he played, it was his best performance for some time alongside Matt Beastie, who continues to do really well.”

There is also satisfaction in the work of Matt Piper at scrum-half since the injury to Ollie Depledge.

Piper played at No 9 in his younger days but has developed at centre in recent years. After taking a couple of games to settle, he has now made his mark, he is very committed and is bringing the best out of the forwards.

Cleckheaton are seeking revenge tomorrow as a side, lacking several players, were just edged out on the opening game of the season.

Postponement of the game at bottom club Team Northumbria last Saturday because the home side could not raise a team was an irritation and there is now a question mark over when or if the match will be played.

The suggested new date is May 5 but Harrison, assistant coach Peter Murphy and some players will be on a trip to France. May 12 has also been mooted but this coincides with the club tour to Cracow. The Northumbria side have already had points deducted and Cleckheaton feel they could be awarded a 25-point win and five league points rather than play a relatively meaningless game at some unsuitable date

Selected Sides

Cleckheaton 1st XV v Malton & Norton, ko 3pm, Meet 1.30pm: Hayden, Wilson, Queeley, Murphy, Woodhead, Gordon, M Piper, Turner, Worsley, C Piper, M Beasty, Freeman, Turton, Bennett. Reps: Marshall, Goiti, Thrower.

Kestrels at Keighley, ko 3pm, meet 12.45pm: Blackburn, McHale, Crewe, Lamb, Davis, Toulson, Fletcher, Haigh, Motlib, Goldthorpe, Frazer, Holland, Graham, Brooke, Terry. Reps: L Beasty, Denham, Horrigan, Bashforth, Stanley.