Percy Park inflict first home defeat on Cleckheaton

Cleckheaton 6

Percy Park 24

CLECKHEATON slipped to a first home defeat in North One East as they lost to a strong, well drilled Percy Park outfit.

The Moorenders had completed a league double over Park last year, results which ultimately cost the North Shields side the chance of promotion, but there was to be no repeat last Saturday.

Although Cleckheaton started brightly, they lost far too much possession, especially from their line-out and it proved costly as Percy Park ran in three unanswered tries.

Prop Paul Turner was an exception on a disappointing day as he showed a superb workrate and comfortably led the Cleckheaton tackle count to be man-of-the-match.

After just five minutes as the Moorenders won a five-metre scrum but, although the pack are usually clinical from that position, they conceded possession and a glorious chance went begging.

Iain Gordon managed to edge Cleckheaton in front with a 10th minute penalty but Simon Greetham replied in kind.

Cleckheaton’s bright spell continued with a second Gordon penalty but once Park went ahead, following the game’s first try after 26 minutes, they never looked back as they set up an eighth win of the season, which saw them move up to fourth.

Cleckheaton were without several key players and it showed as Park winger Ailistair Blair crossed for a try which Greetham converted before Craig Fidler scored the second, again improved by Greetham, as they led 17-6 at half-time.

Cleckheaton tried to change things around by introducing Chris Piper and James Sargeant but they continued to concede possession, which denied them a foothold.

Hooker Andrew Dunn scored Percy Park’s crucial third try after 56 minutes and Greetham landed his third conversion to kill off any hopes of a Cleckheaton comeback.

It leaves the Moorenders eighth in North One East with five wins and six defeats from 11 matches, ahead of a tough trip to high fliers Middlesbrough tomorrow.