CLECKHEATON suffered a disappointing defeat to Sheffield at Abbeydale Park in North One East last Saturday.
A succession of penalties starved the visitors of possession, while lost ball in the line-out meant Cleckheaton were unable to mount any spells of serious pressure.
A sign of the pattern for the game came from the kick-off when Cleckheaton failed to secure the ball and then conceded a penalty and Donal Collins slotted over the goal after just a minute.
The Moorenders tried to hit back but handling errors in the cold, damp conditions continued to hamper them.
They did manage to drive the ball over the Sheffield try line only for referee Iain Ward to judge that the home side’s left winger Alex Hill had managed to get under the ball and prevented it from being grounded.
Cleckheaton came again from the resulting five metre scrum and were awarded a penalty, which fly-half Iain Gordon converted to level matters.
However, the Moorenders could have been well down at half-time as Collins missed three further penalty attempts in the latter stages and the visitors were relieved to go into the break level at 3-3.
Cleckheaton looked to punish Sheffield when they won a line-out early in the second half but without reliable hooker Steve Worsley Sheffield stole the throw and the chance went begging.
Cleckheaton were given another let-off when Collins failed with a fourth penalty attempt.
A Cleckheaton knock-on gave Sheffield another chance but although James Montgomery thought he had broken the deadlock, referee Ward was unsighted and the visitors survived once more.
It appeared as through the Moorenders’ defence would hold out for a second successive draw but, just seven minutes from full-time, Sheffield launched another attack.
Matt Poste fed Collins and he made amends for his earlier mistakes with the boot when he produced a perfect crossfield kick into the arms of James Montgomery, who went in at the corner.
Collins, with a much more difficult kick to his previous efforts, landed the touchline goal.
Cleckheaton tried to hit back strongly and were handed a lifeline when Tommy Marples was sent off for a high tackle but Sheffield managed to close the game out.