CLECKHEATON RUFC first team suffered a 38-20 defeat away to Penrith in their opening North One East game of the season last Saturday.
Penrith are among the favourites for promotion having missed out in the play-offs last term and took advantage of Cleckheaton having a three hour bus trip to Cumbria as a handling error followed by a missed tackle allowed the home side to race into a 12-0 lead.
Mike Swetman replied with a penalty before Cleck scored a cracking try when Mike Hayward broke from his own 22 and glided upfield before sending the supporting Ronan Evans over for an excellent score, which Swetman converted to reduce the arrears to 12-10 at half-time.
Early in the second half, Ben Thrower entered the ruck from the side and from the penalty, Penrith executed an overlap for another try.
Cleckheaton’s woes continued as Jack Seddon was sin-binned and Penrith scored two more tries to effectively seal victory.
Cleckheaton did not give up though and despite trailing 31-10, upped the intensity and were rewarded when Hayward tiptoed in down the touchline.
Cleckheaton threw the ball around with vigour but a pass was intercepted and Penrith scored their sixth and final try.
Cleck had the last word when Evans went in for his second try after excellent handling from Matt Piper and Swetman and the final score of 38-20 slightly flatters the home side.
Cleckheaton make the short trip to Wagon Lane to play Bradford & Bingley on Saturday, while the Kestrels and third teams face Old Brodlieans at home.