Moorenders end wonderful campaign in champion style
Cleckheaton rounded off a magnificent North One East season in style as they ran out 63-21 winners against Malton & Norton.
The Moorenders were without six regular players, on a stag do in Dublin, but those who stepped up took their chance and proved Cleck have strength in depth.
Malton & Norton scored first with a breakaway converted try through Kenton Lieataua but the Moorenders hit back within minutes as Josh White gathered at the back of the ruck and forced his way over. Ross Hayden added the extras.
Rob Afoa-Peterson led the forwards, brushing defenders aside on numerous occasions and having the handling skills to put supporting players into space.
James Wilson ran in from 20 metres for Cleckheaton’s second try and Alex Dawson, who would play for the victorious Yorkshire U20s’ team the following day, was next to score with the first of his two tries, crashing through would be defenders.
Dawson again made headway and off-loaded for James Wilson to score. Hayden added both goals before Jack Bickerdike scooped up the ball up in one hand and kicked through and regathered his before sending Hayden sprinting to the line and the full-back’s goal put them 35-7 up at half-time.
Afoa-Peterson released Robin Bennett, who passed back inside for Bickerdike to between the posts, Josh White then belied his 19 years of age, to nick the ball off his opposite number for the seventh try.
Dawson added his second to bring the 50 points and Jack Seddon latched on to Paul Turner’s pass after Jarrad Toulson had gone close for Cleckheaton’s last try of the day. Hayden converted all the second half tries to give him a 100 per cent record.
Malton finished with a consolation try, converted by Ian Cooke to also give him a perfect kicking record.
n Mick Collins of B&M Collins Butchers presented Cleckheaton with a giant celebratory pork pie with the words CRUFC — Champions baked into the crust.