Cleckheaton lift John Bower Trophy despite derby defeat to Huddersfield YMCA

Dale Breakwell kicked two penalties and a conversion as Cleckheaton were beaten away to Huddersfield YMCA last Saturday but they had the consolation of lifting the John Bower Trophy. Picture: Scott Merrylees
Dale Breakwell kicked two penalties and a conversion as Cleckheaton were beaten away to Huddersfield YMCA last Saturday but they had the consolation of lifting the John Bower Trophy. Picture: Scott Merrylees

Cleckheaton suffered a 26-13 derby defeat away to Huddersfield YMCA in North One East last Saturday but clinched the John Bower Trophy after winning the aggregate in the fixtures between the sides by a single point.

John was a stalwart of both clubs who died in 1998, in his late 40s, due to a brain tumour, and the trophy is played for in his memory over the two league fixtures between the sides when they are in the same division.

Cleck handed a debut to new signing Damian Pearson and the visitors twice went close early on but the usual reliable boot of Dale Breakwell was off target with penalty attempts.

Gavin Stead kicked two penalties for YMCA before Breakwell ensured it was third time lucky pulling one back.

The game continued to be interrupted by the referee’s whistle and James Wilson was sin-binned for an alleged high tackle.

Cleckheaton scored the first try when a sweeping move ended with Mikey Hayward sending Danny Booth in for his eighth try for the season. Breakwell converted to put them 10-6 ahead at half-time.

Stan Hodge replied with a YMCA try five minutes after the re-start before Josh Plunkett was deemed offside at a ruck and harshly yellow carded.

Cleck’s defence stood firm but were eventually unlocked as YMCA MoM Stead capitalised in a mix-up and crossed between the posts and also converted.

Breakwell kicked his second penalty but Stead replied at the other end to stretch YMCA’s lead to 21-13.

Cleckheaton dominated the scrum with MoM Paul Turner in terrific form but the visitors continued to be thwarted by the referee’s whistle.

Breakwell found Booth with a great crossfield kick but they were denied by a contentious offside call and YMCA sealed victory two minutes from time when Hill scored in the corner.

Cleckheaton welcome Morpeth to Moorend on Saturday (kick off 2.15pm).