Moorenders prepared to strengthen lead at top

Richard Piper is congratulated after scoring in the win over Pocklington last Saturday.
Richard Piper is congratulated after scoring in the win over Pocklington last Saturday.

Having taken over at the top of North One East, Cleckheaton will aim to strengthen their grip as they enter a crucial period of matches.

The Moorenders make the short trip to Halifax tomorrow as they take on Old Crossleyans, who themselves are hoping to have a say in the promotion race.

Crossleyans are just four points behind the leaders in fourth spot and know inflicting a second straight away defeat on the men from Moorend will further strengthen their hopes.

Cleckheaton bounced back from their first defeat of the season at YMCA the previous week by producing a brilliant second half performance against Pocklington.

In conditions that made free-flowing rugby difficult, Cleck found themselves 6-5 down at half-time but they ran in 19 unanswered second half points to secure victory.

Andy Piper’s late try also earned the Moorenders a bonus point, which was enough to see them leapfrog Pocklington and take over at the top.

Cleckheaton also have a game in hand and are due to play their re-arranged match with Wheatley Hills on November 16, when the other sides in North One East take a break.

Victory over Crossleyans followed by success at Hills would certainly put Cleckheaton in a strong position as the campaign edges towards halfway.

Rich Piper continued his excellent scoring run as the well-worked set piece move again paid dividends when a kick and catch line-out led to yet another score for the Cleckheaton captain.

Ross Hayden also chipped in with a try and two conversions, with Ryan Piercy adding the other score in last week’s win over in-form Pocklington.

Cleck will look for a similar display tomorrow in a bid to secure the derby spoils.