Cleckheaton secure ninth straight victory

james Wilson touches down for a Cleckheaton try
james Wilson touches down for a Cleckheaton try
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Cleckheaton were totally dominant against relegated Darlington, scoring 11 tries as they ran out 73-7 victors in North One East.

The Moorenders have now won nine league games in a row and continue to push Morley, Wheatley Hills and Sheffield for the single promotion play-off spot.

Cleckheaton opened the scoring after just five minutes when James Wilson and Lee Queeley linked to send Jack Bickerdike between the posts.

Queeley then gathered a loose ball and the powerful centre raced 70 metres for the first of his three tries.

Matty Piper fed Naz Salama, who took play close to the line before Bickerdike dummied and dived over.

Captain Richard Piper then went in for arguably his longest try of the 25 he has scored in the league this season, receiving the ball outside the home side’s 22m and darting in for Cleckheaton’s bonus point try.

The skipper won a Darlington line-out only 10m from Cleck’s line and fed Ryan Piercy. The lock made 30 metres before Bickerdike released Wilson, who raced down the touchline and sent Ross Hayden over.

The relentless scoring continued when Queeley raced from inside his own half and Matt Piper finished off Cleckheaton’s first half blitz when interpassing between him and Wilson resulted in the seventh try. Iain Gordon converted all but this last score and at half time, Cleck were out of sight at 47-0.

Darlington were clearly invigorated by their half time team talk and came out with more determination. After Matt Piper was sin-binned, they got reward for with a converted try.

However, Richard Piper went in for his second of the afternoon with one of his signature efforts, directing the back of the line-out following a catch and drive.

Wilson who had been try provider on a couple of occasions got one for himself and James Marshall, who had come off the bench at half- time scored in the corner with one of his first touches.

Queeley rounded off the try scoring and completed his hat-trick when Gordon and Matty Piper combined to put the centre in space and he ran in for another long range effort. Gordon again converted all but one of the second half tries to seal the emphatic win.

This was a classy performance by Cleckheaton who demonstrated their credentials for an assault on the play-off spot. With three games left, the season will go to the wire, with only three points separating the four sides vying for second place in the table with Cleckheaton hosting Northern on Saturday.