Cleckheaton secure fine derby triumph over Huddersfield YMCA

Jack Seddon crossed for a brace of tries and in doing so became the first Cleckheaton forward this season to score during his side's derby success over Huddersfield YMCA last Saturday. Picture: Paul Butterfield
Jack Seddon crossed for a brace of tries and in doing so became the first Cleckheaton forward this season to score during his side's derby success over Huddersfield YMCA last Saturday. Picture: Paul Butterfield

Cleckheaton secured a second home win in North East One, overcoming local rivals Huddersfield YMCA 32-20 at Moorend last Saturday.

Captain Matt Piper was a late withdrawal and was replaced by James Wilson on the right wing with Mikey Hayward starting at inside centre, while Brad Marsden took the captaincy.

Niall Jackson returned in the front row, with Archie Rika-Rayne, Cain Crotty and Charlie McGovern on the bench.

Cleckheaton opened the scoring after just three minutes as good driving by the pack and a measured crossfield kick from Dale Breakwell, found Wilson.

YMCA’s defence were committed to the ruck and the ball was spun left for Jack Seddon to stroll over for a first try this season by a Cleckheaton forward.

Breakwell converted and slotted over a 25 metre penalty to put them 10-0 up in the opening 10 minutes.

YMCA hit back after winning a penalty and kicking to the corner, stout defence saw the ball held up over the line but from the five metre scrum Sean Barrett crossed for a try, which was converted by Gavin Stead.

Cleckheaton progress was made by Brad Marsden, Joey Carley and Tom Austin before quick hands by Dale Breakwell and a lovely pass from Olly Depledge put Seddon in for his second try.

Seddon was penalised for an offence at the ruck and Stead kicked the penalty and with two minutes left in the half YMCA took the lead when outside half Alex Bull powered through some ragged tackling to score next to the posts. Stead converted to edge the visitors 17-15 in front at half-time.

Cleckheaton had a couple of opportunities to regain the lead early in the second half, Breakwell narrowly missed a 45 metre penalty and also tried an outrageous drop goal from a similar distance that very nearly made it.

The Moorenders also knocked on in a promising position deep inside the YM 22.

However Cleck’s front row of Andy Piper, Rika-Rayne and Jackson took the ball against the head and Depledge put Wilson in for an unconverted try.

Stead kicked another penalty for a hand in the ruck offence to level the scores at 20-20 and set up a thrilling final quarter.

YMCA got an advantage when Cleck full-back, Jack Marshall, was adjudged to have illegally slowed the ball down and was dispatched to the sin bin.

But the hard graft delivered by strength and conditioning coach, Lee Queeley in pre-season, now came into its own and a fitter looking Cleckheaton would not be breached despite the disparity in numbers.

Breakwell’s monstrous kick out of defence led to YMCA being penalised for not releasing.

While they were expecting a routine kick at goal, Dale Breakwell took a quick tap and after exchanging passes with brother Tom, went in for an opportunist try, which also earned Cleck a bonus point. He also converted.

Cleckheaton’s fifth try came when Carley made some good yards down the left and handed on to Depledge, who was tackled inches short of the line.

The ball was quickly recycled and Danny Booth glided in- field past the defence for a well finished try.

YM tried to get some consolation points but strong defence, with Ryan Piercy to the fore, kept them at bay.

Mikey Hayward put in a good performance at inside centre having stepped up just an hour before the start but Cleckheaton’s man-of-the-match and winner of the B&M Collins stand pie was Olly Depledge.