Cleckheaton produced some enterprising rugby to return with a bonus point following a 41-22 win at Westoe in National Three North last Saturday.
Westoe, already firmly fixed in the relegation zone some weeks ago, put up some strong resistance and mounted a challenge up to the hour mark but an increase of tempo landed Cleck three tries which put the result beyond doubt.
James Wilson opened the scoring after five minutes when he supported a break from Rob Afoa Peterson and sprinted between the posts. Ross Hayden converted.
Alex Dawson then barged over for the first of his two tries following a powerful drive from Jack Seddon, which Hayden also converted.
Westoe stayed in touch by charging down a clearance kick in Cleck’s 22 and Sam Gaff pounced to touch down.
Cleckheaton conceded several penalties and after a number of strong runs, Raymie Elliott broke through the defence for Westoe’s second try, reducing the arrears to 14-12.
Cleckheaton regained control when Martin Woodhead forced his way over, following a pass from man-of-the-match Afoa Peterson.
Hayden’s conversion attempt drifted wide but the full-back made amends two minutes later when he scored Cleckheaton’s bonus point try. The goal was added and Cleck held a 26-12 half-time lead.
Westoe scored first in the second half when Cleck’s pack stood off the line-out catcher and Gaff leaped over the frozen defence and tip-toed down the touchline for a try.
Westoe applied further pressure over the next 15 minutes but despite being reduced to 14 men for two thirds of that time, the visitors kept the home side out.
Cleckheaton put the result beyond doubt in the last quarter. Jack Bickerdike scooted in for a try which Hayden converted, followed by Dawson’s second when he scampered over the line from close range.
Brad Marsden completed Cleckheaton’s try tally when a flowing move put the winger in at the corner.
Westoe did have the last say though and claimed a bonus point and a moment of personal satisfaction for Gaff who went in for his hat-trick.
Cleckheaton scored seven tries and could have probably got a few more on a different day but they finished off this season’s away fixture list with comfortable win to secure themselves at least sixth place in National League Three North after their first year back at this level.