Cleckheaton slipped to a fourth successive defeat in North One East last Saturday as they went down 24-18 at home to promotion chasing Morpeth.
Three of those defeats have come against sides in the top three and once again Cleckheaton produced a determined effort but it wasn’t quite enough and defeat leaves them just a point above third-bottom Bridlington.
Cleck are not in action this weekend but face a key game when they return with a trip to second-bottom West Leeds on February 9.
Cleckheaton started brightly against Morpeth and took the lead when Matt Piper took play deep inside the visitors 22 from a line-out.
Jack Seddon took a quick tap penalty and forced his way over the line, where a penalty try was awarded.
Man-of-the-match Mikey Hayward made a terrific break down the left and a long pass from Dale Breakwell found Danny Booth with the speedy winger crossing for a fine unconverted try.
Morpeth hit back and the power of their scrum shunted Cleckheaton backwards and when it collapsed twice, Paul Turner was sin-binned and 18 year old Henry Iwanejko took up the mantle at prop.
With the Cleck down to 14 men Morpeth scrum half Steve Irving crashed over for a try, which Hornby converted.
Morpeth then took the lead as a great run by flanker Ollie Dynan was supported by Johnny Ward to cross at the side of the posts and Hornby converted as the visitors led 14-12 at half-time.
Horny extended Morpeth’s lead with a 57th minute penalty and they grabbed a third try as Cole burst through some indifferent tackling.
The ball came loose and was kicked to the in-goal area and centre James Philipps got his hand to it to score. Hornby converted.
Breakwell replied with two penalties to reduce the deficit to six points and secure a bonus point.
Morpeth’s Tony Moody was sin-binned for a high tackle but although Cleckheaton pounded away with commendable determination Morpeth held on for victory.