Cleckheaton’s home record intact going into new year

Referee Jonathan Cook prepares the scrum during Cleckheaton v Westoe
Referee Jonathan Cook prepares the scrum during Cleckheaton v Westoe

Cleckheaton ground out a 19-13 victory over Westoe to ensure their magnificent home record will be unblemished going into 2015.

Cleckheaton lacked rhythm at times against a resurgent Westoe but ultimately proved too strong for their South Shields opponents as they consolidated their place in the top six of National Three North.

Westoe have strengthened in the last fortnight and the Moorenders knew that the visitors’ lowly position in the table was no excuse for complacency.

Westoe confirmed that they hadn’t come to simply lie down when Ben Roberts went in for an unconverted try shortly after kick off.

Cleckheaton kicked a penalty to the corner and their trustworthy strike move of the catch-and-drive was put into action and Rob Afoa Peterson marked his return to action, following a shoulder injury, with a try that Ross Hayden converted.

Westoe piled on the pressure and could have retaken the lead but failed with a penalty attempt at goal.

Jack Seddon made way for Richard Piper, who was introduced into the back row after a two week absence.

Teaming up with Callum Thompson, Piper marked his return with a big hit, as the pair crashed into a Westoe attacker.

Westoe started the second half brightly with Jamie Judson scoring in the corner to edge the visitors 10-7 ahead.

Cleckheaton re-organised and another kick to the corner resulted in a try for Richard Piper.

Alex Dawson produced good rumbling runs to earn man-of-the-match, while Hayden and Lee Queeley combined with flair to go close.

Unfortunately Hayden got a smack to the nose during the attack and had to leave the field, with Seddon returning.

Cleck kept up the momentum and were rewarded with another line-out close to Westoe’s line and Richard Piper dived over for his second. Jarrad Toulson converted.

There were anxious moments in the final stages as Westoe attacked with vigour piling the pressure on the Cleckheaton line.

Ollie Akroyd and Toulson were sin-binned and Westoe kicked a penalty to reduce the deficit to 19-13.

Despite being two men down Cleckheaton did not let Westoe back into their half and the team’s fantastic home league record is secured into the new year.