CLECKHEATON eased to their first bonus point victory of the North One East season, showing a cutting edge which had been missing in the first three matches.
Iain Gordon opened the scoring in the fifth minute with a penalty following a driving maul from the Cleckheaton forwards.
The match was then held up for almost an hour for Morpeth scrum-half Matt Jinks to receive medical attention following a collision with a teammate.
Two doctors and two physios treating Jinks decided that his concussion could reflect further serious injury and decided to wait for paramedics to take him to hospital.
Jinks spent a night in Huddersfield RI and returned home on Sunday with no lasting damage and he hopes to resume playing in mid-October.
Ollie Akroyd provided clean line-out ball for the Cleckheaton forwards to continue their dominance and a series of driving mauls was finished off each time by Rich Piper, who crossed for a hat-trick of tries, two of which were converted by Gordon.
Morpeth’s only reward for their first half endeavour was a drop-goal from stand-off Tom Wilkinson.
Gordon left the field early in the second half through injury and Ross Hayden took over the kicking duties.
His first attempted penalty was just short but he was able to add the extras to a try from winger Martin Woodhead following excellent work and a great offload from Paul Turner.
Eight minutes later, centre Matt Piper broke up the middle and passed to Woodhead and he rounded the full-back with ease to score his second from 30 yards out.
With a four-try bonus point secured, Cleckheaton began to throw the ball about.
Hayden created space, sold a wonderful dummy and gave the perfect pass to provide Woodhead with his hat-trick try.
To their credit, Morpeth continued to look for a consolation and mounted a series of attacks.
Like the previous week, Cleck’s defence was solid but the visitors were able to score two late tries from centres Ben Hornby and James Phillips, who tagged on the conversions.
It was a second successive win for Cleck and there were promising signs that combinations are starting to settle and a game plan emerging.
Special mentions go to Jarrad Toulson, who continues to impress at stand-off and Ben Thrower, who looks capable at both hooker and prop.
n Cleckheaton Kestrels put local rivals Old Brodleians to the sword, turning a 12-6 half-time deficit into a 44-19 win.
James Wilson had a terrific game as he led Cleckheaton’s effort with a four-try haul.
Nathan Clayton and Luke Bashforth also crossed to ensure that the Kestrels’ 100 per cent start to the season continued and they registered another five Merit League points.
n The fourth XV also had a fantastic victory over Old Brods Vets, with Jack Seddon also getting four tries to help Cleckheaton secure a 65-5 victory.
Russ Noble and Josef Windle were also among the try scorers, while Ben Womersley had a fine kicking game as Cleck reversed last season’s heavy defeat against the same side.
n A last minute try from Sam Wood saw Cleckheaton Junior Colts beat Pontefract 10-5 last week.
Excellent tackling from Jake Johnson, Josh Taylor and Rob Lowe kept Pontefract at bay early on but despite strong running by Steven Hawksworth, Niall Jackson and Matthew Deighton, it was the visitors who scored the opening try.
Luke Pearson made an excellent break on the stroke of half-time and Sean Burns was on hand to score and level.
Sam Caldwell and Danny Kelly were denied by good tackling but the stalemate was broken when Jordan Vaines charged through and Wood was on the end of a sweeping move to score the winner.
n Cleckheaton Senior Colts opened their Yorkshire League Division Two season with a 29-24 win over Beverley the previous week as flanker Jack Seddon scored a hat-trick, while Adam Clough and Harry Bairstow also crossed after the Moorenders trailed 17-12 at half-time.
n Cleckheaton Under-15s had a day to forget as they lost 89-0 to Skipton. Peel went closest to scoring for Cleck but he was held up.
The injury hit side then went down 56-0 to Huddersfield B last week.
Owens and Somers tried to clear any danger but Huddersfield were too strong and most of the points came in the second half when Cleck tired.
n Cleckheaton Under-13s continued their winning start, with an impressive 33-19 victory over Aireborough.
Ciaran Lewis and Drew Judge-Clark scored two each, Joe Tilby-Baxter capped a MoM display with a try, while Eli Steinberg landed four conversions.
n The Under-13s followed up that win with a 22-7 victory over Morley.
Drew Judge-Clark scored the first try and added a second after good work from Henry Iwanejko and Darren Ali-Scott.
Morley replied with a score of their own but Judge-Clark completed his hat-trick and Eli Steinberg converted.
Alex Ibbotson then pounced on a loose ball for the match clinching try. Josh Blackall was MoM.