Impressive Cleckheaton pack sets platform for Durham win

Mikey Haywood opened the scoring for Cleckheaton and went on to produce a man-of-the-match display in their 38-17 victory over Durham, which sees them climb to fifth place in North One East. Picture: Paul Butterfield
Mikey Haywood opened the scoring for Cleckheaton and went on to produce a man-of-the-match display in their 38-17 victory over Durham, which sees them climb to fifth place in North One East. Picture: Paul Butterfield

Cleckheaton maintained their unbeaten record at Moorend as they recorded a resounding 38-17 over Durham City in North One East last Saturday.

It was the first meeting between the sides in many years and Cleckheaton came away with an impressive bonus point win, which sees them climb to fifth in the table.

Several players had picked up knocks in the previous week’s defeat at York so Joey Carley started on the bench along with Chris Piper and Archie Rika-Rayne, while Brad Marsden returned and Jack Seddon was back at number eight.

Cleckheaton opened the scoring after six minutes when a pin point kick across the field from Dale Breakwell found Mikey Hayward. He still had work to do but evaded a couple of despairing tackles to score wide on the left.

A terrific rolling maul made some 20 metres down the right towards the try line but hooker Ben Thrower was judged to have broken away from maul and the chance was lost.

Durham had a player sin-binned when Jack Marshall got a bang on the nose which saw him leave the field to stem the flow of blood and this brought Carley into play in the unfamiliar right wing position with James Wilson reverting to full back.

The numerical advantage didn’t last as Dale Breakwell incurred the wrath of the referee with a high tackle and he was also sin binned on the half hour mark.

Durham kicked the simple penalty but Cleckheaton extended their lead when captain Matt Piper backed up some smart work by Tom Breakwell to crash over between the posts and he also added the extras onto send the home side into half-time 12-3 up.

Durham put Cleckheaton under great pressure at the start of the second half with some superb ball retention and they scored a converted try next to the posts.

Jack Marshall returned after his blood injury and Cleckheaton were back at full strength with Breakwell out of the bin, while Chris Piper was brought on for Ben Thrower.

The Cleckheaton pack were starting to dominate proceedings and another classic rolling maul, after Tom Austin won ball at the line out, saw prop Andy Piper rumble over the line to extend the lead to 17-10.

Just five minutes later, Jack Seddon got on the end of a superb ball from Olly Depledge to give Cleckheaton breathing space and the bonus point try.

Dale Breakwell added the goal and with Cleckheaton leading 24-10 entering the final 20 minutes, Archie Rika-Rayne was introduced in place of Niall Jackson.

Durham added their second try on 66 minutes which was converted .

The restart failed to go 10 metres and Cleckheaton set about increasing their lead.

Andy Piper again controlled the driving maul for his second try of the game, which Dale Breakwell converted.

With the home pack dominant, the Durham prop was sin binned for an incorrect bind and in similar fashion to the previous driving maul, the visitors pack was forced back and Ryan Piercy crashed over for his second try of the season, Dale Breakwell added the goal to complete the impressive win.

This was a good all round performance from Cleckheaton, dominant in the pack and with man-of-the-match Mikey Hayward a constant threat out wide.

Cleckheaton travel to North One East league leaders Driffield on Saturday looking for a first win on the road this season (kick off 3pm).