Loss of discipline costs cleckheaton

Cleckheatons Niall Jackson storms through the West Leeds defence during last Saturdays North One East derby. Picture: Paul Butterfield

Cleckheaton suffered a disappointing 19-8 defeat at home to West Leeds in North One East last Saturday as poor discipline proved costly.

The kicking prowess of visiting stand-off Dale Breakwell ultimately cost Cleckheaton the league points.

Jack Bickerdike was back in the fold after fracturing his thumb in one of the warm up games in mid-August but Mikey Hayward failed a fitness test an hour before kick off on the hamstring injury he picked up against Bridlington a fortnight earlier.

Back rower Brad Marsden switched to the wing and 19 year-old Josh Clough was rewarded with his first start in the first team after coming off the bench at Driffield the previous week.

West Leeds took an early lead through a Breakwell penalty and although Mike Swetman levelled soon after, Breakwell’s second penalty edged the visitors back in front.

Cleckheaton’s try came just after half an hour when Jack Seddon broke from half way and trundled up the touchline.

Bickerdike was in support and weaved forward before returning the ball to Seddon, who squeezed in at the corner.

Cleckheaton’s 8-6 lead lasted only a couple of minutes before further infringements gifted Leeds another penalty to put them 9-8 ahead at half-time.

More infringements followed after the break and Josh Plunkett was shown a red card for punching with Cleckheaton in a strong attacking position.

Down to 14 men, Cleckheaton responded strongly and had their most sustained period of pressure in the entire match.

Matt Piper went close as did a number of forwards but the West Leeds defence would not be breached.

The away team eventually fought their way up field and Breakwell kicked another penalty to give them a six point lead.

As West Leeds continued to press, Seddon was pulled up for a high tackle and shown a yellow card.

Leeds forced a number of five metre scrums and a lineout as 13-man Cleckheaton defended manfully.

Niall Jackson picked up the man-of-the-match for topping the tackle count and working tirelessly through this period but West Leeds eventually exploited the gaps with a try between the posts, which Breakwell converted.

Cleck were restored to 14 men for the final five minutes and made headway in the vain hope of collecting a losing bonus point but it wasn’t to be.

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