Cleckheaton resume rivalry and sting Bees with impressive derby victory
Cleckheaton registered their first win in North One East when they overcame local rivals Bradford & Bingley 33-7 in the first game between the sides since 2006.
A fresh faced Paul Turner, was the only surving player from that fixture 11 and a half years later, although three other participants still very much involved with the club in Carl Mason, John Porritt and Neil Gillan eagerly watched this rekindled fixture from the touch line.
The torrential rain that fell on Wagon Lane from about 15 minutes before kick-off made for a scrappy first half, with both sides losing possession.
The brightest ray of sunshine came after five minutes when Mikey Hayward stormed past the outside backs to score. Mike Swetman converted before Ronan Evans extended the lead with a 25th minute penalty goal.
Bingley enjoyed their own bright spell and pressed Cleckheaton hard and home captain Tom Booth scored a converted try, reducing the arrears to 8-7 at half-time.
Cleck resumed the second half with solid defence from Turner, Piercy, Plunkett and Andy and Matt Piper to thwart the Bees’ onslaught.
Cleckheaton worked their way up field and Swetman slotted over a penalty.
Head coach Thiu Barnard worked the interchanges, with Ben Thrower and James Crowther exchanging places again and Cain Crotty taking the field on the wing.
As Bingley tired, Cleckheaton took full advantage with an excellent try that saw the ball travel through at least six pairs of hands before Crotty, with one of his first touches, took the final pass and dived over the line. Swetman converted to give Cleck an 11-point cushion.
A superb run by man-of-the-match Jack Seddon sent Luke Pearson over for another try.
Crotty capitalised on a break by Hayward to run over the top of his opposite number for his second try in 10 minutes.
Ronan Evans had the final word, supporting another Hayward break for the final try as Cleckheaton earned five league points with a decisive victory.
Cleckheaton welcome Bridlington to Moorend on Saturday as they look to make a fortress of their home ground.