Cleckheaton’s revival continues as they secure third straight win

Cleckheaton wore a one off pink strip in aid of breast cancer research. Picture: Gerald Christian
Cleckheaton wore a one off pink strip in aid of breast cancer research. Picture: Gerald Christian

Cleckheaton secured a third straight win in North One East as their recent revival continued with a 45-14 success over West Hartlepool last Saturday.

The Moorenders finally got to wear their specially commissioned pink kit after the original match was postponed a fortnight earlier.

The postponed fixture had not prevented the club raising over £3,000 in aid of Breast Cancer Research through various fundraising activities, while Cleck were able to display their support for the worthy cause on the pitch.

Both sides had a few enforced changes, with Cleck prop Paul Turner, having to join Luke Pearson in the second row and Ben Thrower, James Crowther and Andy Piper making up the starting front three.

Carley, Plunkett and Jack Seddon formed the unchanged back row and would prove formidable again, while Mike Swetman had to switch to stand-off.

Lee Queeley moved to inside centre, allowing Craig Blackburn to pick up another first team cap.

Cleckheaton ran in five first half tries to put the outcome beyond doubt after 40 minutes.

Powerful centre Queeley sprinted between the posts following a break and off-load from Seddon.

Swetman converted and then put captain Matt Piper in for the first of a first half hat-trick.

Cleckheaton extended their lead to 19-0 with Piper’s second try as he brushed away an attempted tackle and dived over with Swetman converting.

Thrower then scored for the second consecutive game powering over in the corner to put Cleck in control.

West Hartlepool had not given up the game and following a line out, in which every Cleck player stood off the ball catcher, Jake Linighan darted through a confused defence for a simple try.

Cleckheaton had the last word in the half though when Piper rounded off a superb hat-trick, with Swetman again the provider, as the robust inside centre proved too much to handle for Wests’ defence.

Cleckheaton led 31-7 at the break and coach Thiu Barnard made a couple of changes bringing Niall Jackson on for Andy Piper and Cain Crotty on for Grant Fitzsimmons.

West Hartlepool enjoyed their best spell of the game shortly after half time with their man-of-the-match, Rob Thorn, going over for a try and they would have scored again but for a forward pass.

Cleckheaton regained control and a great support line by James Wilson allowed the full-back to race through a gap for their sixth try.

A speculative kick from West Hartlepool didn’t clear their lines but instead found Swetman and the veteran stand-off delighted the crowd with a 30 metre run in to the line.

Swetman also converted both second half tries.

The final 15 minutes were played out in a blizzard, which made the pitch difficult to see and led to several knock ons.

Man-of-the-match Matt Piper continued to lead from the front as Cleckheaton completed a convincing win, which consolidates seventh place in North East One

Cleck have set the goal of going unbeaten in their final four matches of the season, starting at home to Malton and Norton on Saturday.