Cleckheaton 45 West 14

By Dave Picken - March 18 2018
Cleckheaton 45 West 14 Another gloomy day on the road. After battling through snowstorms to get to Moorend we came up against a bulky and experienced Cleckheaton backline which took advantage of the conditions to run in seven close range tries...

We went into the game with regular half backs Ryan and Gavin Painter missing through injury and inside centre Peter Youll away on a charity walk.
However, we  were boosted by the return of wingers Rob Thorn and Liam Checksfield with the latter being drafted into the centre.
Thorn went on to be nominated West's Man of the Match after causing the home defence problems on the rare occasions when he received the ball.
It was no coincidence that Rob had experience and size on his side and, in those conditions, it was physicality which made the difference - and Cleckheaton had more of it.  They duly took an early lead when winger Colin Blackburn burst through the middle.

We did come close to equalizing when Checksfield made a forty metre break. With Matt Tyers and Adam Peacock outside him he went to dummy full back James Wilson who failed to take the bait and the chance was lost.

Cleckheaton skipper Matt Piper got the first of his hat trick after nine minutes when he broke two tackles with Lee Queeley making it 12-0 with the conversion. He crossed himself to make it 19-0 with a quarter of the game gone.
The home side's try bonus point on the half hour when burly prop Ben Thrower forced his way over from close range by which time we had lost Adam Coates through concussion.
With Johnny Hunter on, and having another decent game, we continued to battle and got the reward through Jake Linighan who scored his first try in league rugby. He once again took clean line-out ball peeling round the back of the line to go over with Zac Southern adding the extras.
However, hopes of a rally were quickly dashed with Matt Piper getting his second – once again proving unstoppable from a few yards and giving his side a commanding 31-7 lead at the break.
Rob Thorn got the try his Man of the Match performance deserved after Liam Checksfield broke up the left to send the big winger in under the posts for an easy conversion for Southern.
Sadly, that was to be the last time we troubled the scorers, but we were boosted by the return of powerful forward Chris Atkins who had been out since September 2016 with knee ligament damage.
The Met Office had issued an amber weather warning for snow from 4.00 p.m. and it was correct almost to the minute with Cleck taking advantage with tries from winger Grant Fitzsimmons and Piper's hat trick try.
Will Hilditch did cross but the pass from Thorn was judged to be forward, and Atkins almost marked his comeback with a powerful break only to be pulled down just short of the line.

Cleckheaton: James Wilson, Craig Blackburn, Lee Queeley, Matt Piper (capt), Grant Fitzsimmons, Mike Swetman, Jack Bickerdike, Ben Thrower, James Crowther, Andy Piper, Luke Pearson, Paul Turner, Joey Carley, Josh Plunkett, Jack Seddon.
Reps (all used): Niall Jackson, Rob Lowe, Cain Croffy.
Tries: M. Piper (3), Blackburn, Queeley, Thrower, Fitzsimmons.
Cons: Queeley (5)

West: Adam Peacock, Matt Tyers, Liam Checksfield, Will Hilditch, Rob Thorn, Zac Southern, Matt Siddle, Adam Coates, Andrew Rollins, Alex Key, John Bunter, Jake Linighan, Alex Barker, Scott Butcher, Andrew Turner.
Reps (all used): Johnny Hunter, Chris Atkins, James Tyers.
Tries: Linighan, Thorn.
Cons (Southern (2).

Referee: David Downham (Yorkshire)

Cleckheaton 45 West 14
Official West Hartlepool RFC (IP Logged)
18/03/2018 12:48
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Re: Cleckheaton 45 West 14
Rozzy 1 (IP Logged)
18/03/2018 14:53
Every cloud has a silver lining ... good to see Jake Linighan getting his first try. He is easily this season's most improved player and arguably a contender for Player of the Season.
We're having a bad time, but with young players like him about there's hope for the future.

Re: Cleckheaton 45 West 14
LesterP (IP Logged)
18/03/2018 22:28
Yes - report covers it all really. Well said Rozzy, we have plenty of talent emerging and there was no shortage of effort from any of the youngsters again yesterday, maybe just on the decision making front on some occasions when under pressure in both Red Zones.

Big powerful direct side at Clecky yesterday - well drilled and did all the basics right, most notably at the breakdown where they got several players well past the ball and forced a number of turnovers.

On the +ve side there was at least a covered Stand incl carpeted bench seats on the back row; on the down side it was facing East !!!!

It was always going to be a tough one on all fronts.

Thanks to the Bus Driver too for getting us back in one piece.

Stand fast lads - No Surrender !

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