Cleckheaton produce season’s best in West Hartlepool success

Cleckheaton substitute Archie Rika-Rayne breaks through the West Hartlepool defence during last week's impressive 59-15 victory at Moorend, which moves them up to fifth place in North One East. Pictures: Paul Butterfield
Cleckheaton substitute Archie Rika-Rayne breaks through the West Hartlepool defence during last week's impressive 59-15 victory at Moorend, which moves them up to fifth place in North One East. Pictures: Paul Butterfield

Cleckheaton turned in their best performance of the North One East season with a nine try demolition of a spirited West Hartlepool as they ran out 59-15 victors last Saturday.

Jack Seddon was omitted from the side with a slight hamstring strain but Brad Marsden returned to play at open side flanker with Tom Austin moving to the Number eight position.

The visitors kicked off and got their hands on the ball first but were penalised in a promising position.

Dale Breakwell found touch from the penalty and with line out ball secured the backs got moving to the right corner.

James Wilson was stopped short but Ollie Depledge was on hand to wriggle over in the corner and Dale Breakwell added the extras from a difficult angle.

Cleckheaton added a second try almost immediately, as the ball was moved left and a superb delayed pass put flanker Joey Carley in for a fine score, which Breakwell converted.

The home team were pegged back for a time inside their 22 with successive penalties, Matt Piper was given a team warning by the referee and Wests kicked a simple penalty on 19 minutes through scrum half Stu Waites.

Depledge made a great break but a magnificent tackle took him to ground and he was held up over the line.

From the five metre scrum, Dale Breakwell took Matt Piper’s reverse pass to score between the posts and he improved to extend Cleck’s lead to 21-3.

Jack Marshall got the ball deep inside his own 22 and combined with Depledge and Hayward to take the return pass on halfway and raced away for a fine try, Breakwell added the goal and a try bonus point secured.

Breakwell got his second try of the afternoon after Hayward, Marshall and second row Plunkett combined for a fifth try of the half as Cleckheaton led 33-3 at the break.

Cleckheaton scored again, less than a minute into the second half, Wests failed to secure the kick off and Ben Thrower made ground down the middle and moved the ball to Hayward, who put Marshall in for his second try which was improved.

Hayward was on hand to pick up the ball after a huge tackle by Marsden in midfield saw the speedy winger cross for his sixth try of the season as the lead was extended to 45-3.

As Cleckheaton were dominant, the bench was active as Rika-Rayne, Ben Dearing and Charlie McGovern all got some game time.

Hayward sliced through the defence after good work by Wilson after 65 minutes and Depledge crossed for his seventh try of the season, which Breakwell converted, as Cleck topped the half century.

West Hartlepool crossed for a 72nd minute consolation try by centre Peter Youll, who was a constant threat throughout.

The visitors were penalised 10 metres out in front of the posts, Marsden took a tap penalty and the maul rumbled over the line with Ben Thrower controlling the movement.

Breakwell again added the extras to cap a fine game as he ended with a personal haul of 24 points from two tries and seven conversions.

Depleted West Hartlepool never gave up and crossed for a second try by Stu Waites who also converted.

Man-of-the-match went to Joey Carley for a strong all round performance.

Cleckheaton moved up to fifth place in the table with this win and they are on the road this Saturday when they face a tough encounter at York, kick off 3pm.