CLECKHEATON slipped to a disappointing 17-11 defeat away to West Hartlepool last Saturday as the home side moved off the foot of North One East with victory in the first meeting between the sides since the 2013/14 season.
Wests had won just one of their opening eight league matches but made a bright start and led after just two minutes with a penalty following a high tackle.
Cleckheaton were penalised for offside but the kick from in front of the posts was off target.
Mike Swetman had a penalty from 35 metres but his kick also sailed wide.
Cleckheaton had plenty of possession, the scrum was solid and the line out was dominant. Following good work by the pack, the ball was moved quickly left and winger Pat Foulstone got outside his opposite number and strolled in for a well worked try.
Swetman was narrowly wide with the conversion but just before the break, he kicked a penalty after Wests killed the ball with a try looking inevitable and Ryan Painter was sin-binned.
Cleck had a man advantage at the start of the second half but couldn’t increase the lead after a series of handling errors got Wests in good field position.
Yet another Cleck infringement offered a penalty attempt but this again sailed wide.
Minutes later Wests were in front following a good move and offload by Miller for a converted try.
Tempers were getting frayed and both captains were called together and after a long lecture by the referee the game continued with 15 players aside.
West Hartlepool scored their second try after 72 minutes when Cleck lost a line out on their own throw and with the defence in disarray, Butcher scampered over next to the posts and Painter converted for a 17-8 lead.
Cleckheaton did manage to get over the line but lost the ball, although play was pulled back for a penalty and Swetman kicked the goal.
The final action involved a scuffle between both packs which resulted in Barnard and Baggs being sent to the sin bin.
As the ball went out of play the referee blew for full time and brought an end to a disappointing afternoon for Cleck.