Kestrels pay perfect tribute to stalwart

Cleckheaton Kestrels and Driffield challenge for a line-out last Saturday. Picture: Gerald Christian.
Cleckheaton Kestrels and Driffield challenge for a line-out last Saturday. Picture: Gerald Christian.

Cleckheaton Kestrels produced a display Alan Bentley would have been proud of as they defeated Driffield 22-12 last Saturday.

The Moorenders were stunned by news rugby club president Alan Bentley had passed away on Friday and a minute’s silence was held before the Kestrels game .

Alan was a strong supporter of Cleckheaton’s development initiatives and proud of the fact so many young players had progressed through the Kestrels, into first team over the last few years.

Josh White, Jack Seddon and James Wilson are three of those players who have moved through the Cleckheaton ranks and all three went close to scoring early on.

The Kestrels took a 15th minute lead when Jarrad Toulson and Matt Piper linked to put Craig Blackburn over for the opening try.

Seddon reacted to a loose ball, kicked ahead and won the race to score, before good approach work from George Speight and an excellent off load from Wilson put White over for a third try as Cleck led 15-0 at half-time.

Driffield broke a 30-minute second half stalemate with a converted try but Cleckheaton replied with a bonus point score from Jim Crowther following excellent work from the pack. Jarrad Toulson added the extras.

Driffield scored a second consolation try a minute from time but this display by the young Cleckheaton charges was one which would have made Alan Bentley bristle with pride.

Cleckheaton’s first team return to National League Three North action tomorrow when they entertain local rivals Huddersfield YMCA (kick off 3pm) in what is sure to be an emotional day for everyone connected with the Moorenders.

Weekend Selected Sides

1st XV v Huddersfield YMCA, ko 3pm, meet 1.30pm: R Hayden, C Burnhill, J Wilson, Matt Piper, M Woodhead Michael Piper, J Bickerdike, PTurner, B Thrower A Dawson, R Afoa Peterson, T Hanson, O Akroyd, J Seddon, R Piper. Reps: J Crowther, D Vento, C Mason.

Kestrels: No Game.

3rdXV v Huddersfield YMCA, ko 2.15pm, meet 1pm: K Downes, A Smith, C Blackburn E Whetham, A Stanley J Toulson, L Beasty, N Jackson, A Porritt, W Denham, L Pearson, M Wood, L Hamilton, B Marsden, J White. Reps: R Noble, A McCarthy, R Lowe, J Jagger, G Speight, B Fraser, M Deighton, R Brown.

4th XV at Huddersfield YMCA, ko 2.15pm, meet 12.45pm: C Aspinall, A Bailey, A Hobson, S Wilkinson, M Whitlock, D Webb, J Perks, M Blakely, D McGuigan, D Howe, A Womersley, I Webb , M Nicholson, A Clough, J Womersley Res: Thornton, P Manning, M Blackhall, C Durkin, A Edwards, A Lowe.