West 20 Cleckheaton 19

By El Pedro - February 2 2020
West 20 Cleckheaton 19 A tremendous fightback in the closing stages earned our young side a well deserved victory over high flying Cleckheaton ....

The visitors arrived sitting in second place in North One East but with our form on an upward curve since the turn of the year it promised to be a competitive game and didn’t disappoint. 

A strong wind across the pitch made kicking and lineout throwing a challenge but it was a mixture of handling errors and resolute defence which saw both sides cancel each other out for the majority of the first half. 

Cleck had some big ball carriers and used them to good effect but our defence was tireless, putting in some good tackles and scrambling well on the occasion that the initial defensive line was broken. 

The visitors would come to rue some crucial handling errors which cost them points - their best chance coming when the ball was ripped in the tackle as we attacked and a length of the field try looked on only for the last pass to go to ground rather than the hand of the support runner.  

Successive rolling mauls also looked threatening midway through the half but again we found a way to get them to ground and a fantastic turnover allowed us to clear. 

The half was not all dominated by Cleck through and we enjoyed plenty of possession albeit without creating many clear scoring opportunities. Inside the final two minutes of the half Zac Southern lined up a long range penalty to open the scoring but saw it drift to the right of the posts and fall slightly short. 

From the resulting 22 drop-out we would find ourselves behind when we didn’t deal with the ball well, turned it back to Cleck and they broke upfield with number eight Jack Seddon finishing in the left corner. Dale Breakwell added a superb conversion into the wind from the touchline. 

It was a harsh turnaround and thankfully Southern was able to slot another penalty between the uprights with the last play of the half which also saw Tom Lillycrop sin-binned for the visitors after referee Simon Williams lost patience with persistent protests following penalty decisions.  

The second half began with Cleakheaton firmly on top after we dropped the restart and put ourselves under pressure. A certain try went begging when Jack Marshall dropped the ball in the left corner but moments later Mikey Hayward made amends when he finished off a try on the right touchline after a neat cross-field kick in the build up.

Borthwick Try Cleck 

With such an inexperienced side heads could have dropped at this point but we kept plugging away and a super turnover from Ben Armstrong gave us a penalty that we kicked into the 22. A rolling maul made further ground before Ryan Painter went close and the try was finished off nicely by James Borthwick. Southern added the extras and the game was back in the balance at 10-12. 

The next score was crucial and it came for Cleck as they responded with their best move of the match - an attack full of pace a power - with Marshall making up for his earlier error, popping up in mid-field to finish off the try. An easy conversion pushed the visitors back to a two score lead but again we weren’t about to go down without a fight.

 Barker try cleck

It was the maul again which set up a good position and with penalty advantage after a high tackle on Max Tennant, Painter sent through a near grubber kick which he collected himself and fed replacement Alex Barker for a great team try. Southern was wide with the conversion but we were again back within a score and playing out best attacking rugby of the game. 

With time running out we kicked another penalty to the corner but the lineout was lost and it appeared our last chance had gone. But Cleck could only clear to just outside the 22 and from further out we were more successful setting up the maul driving back into the 22 against a now tiring visiting pack. Space opened up on the right after a few phases and with the defence struggling to re-organise Adam Brown crashed over to give us the lead with the game just entering stoppage time. 

There was time for the restart but we gathered it cleanly and kicked to touch for a hard fought but well deserved victory. Wins for Durham City and Kendal means the win does little for any faint hopes of avoiding the drop back down a division but with a core of young players getting wins under their belts against much bigger, experienced sides it should bode well for the future. 

West: Siddle, Mayes, Hilditch, Southern, Tennant, Connolly, Painter, Pennick, Jackson-Smith, Rollins, Linighan, Borthwick, Brown, Armstrong, Atkins.
Reps: Coates, Barker, Johnston. 

Tries: Borthwick, Barker, Brown

Con: Southern

Pen: Southern

YC: Barker 

Cleckheaton: Wilson, Hayward, Depledge, Piper, Marshall, D Breakwell, T Breakwell, C Piper, Thrower, A Piper, Pearson, Plunkett, Lillycrop, Milborne, Seddon.

Reps: Carley, Rika-Rayne, Etchells. 

Tries: Seddon, Hayward, Marshall

Cons: D Breakwell 2

YC: Lillycrop 

Referee: Simon Williams [Durham Society]



West 20 Cleckheaton 19
Official West Hartlepool RFC (IP Logged)
02/02/2020 10:26
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Re: West 20 Cleckheaton 19
02/02/2020 12:02
Haven’t seen the team since Boxing Day. Host of new young faces who played with great spirit and frustrated a much bigger team with their tackling.
I shall be back.

Re: West 20 Cleckheaton 19
Rozzy 1 (IP Logged)
02/02/2020 12:43
That was the performance of the home season by miles.
The whole shape and attitude of the team seems to have improved since the turn of the year and a result and performance like this will do the young players the world of good as they develop.
Pity it couldn't have happened earlier, but better late than never. The future is looking really bright. Like WPA, I'll be back.

Re: West 20 Cleckheaton 19
LesterP (IP Logged)
02/02/2020 12:48
Great result, well done everyone.

Stood Fast - Never Surrendered !

Re: West 20 Cleckheaton 19
Old Chestnut (IP Logged)
02/02/2020 14:40
Agree Rozzy 1, great team effort but credit must go to the new coaching set up also, as the team now seem to have direction and a focus...... well done all.

Re: West 20 Cleckheaton 19
Kathryn 😊 (IP Logged)
02/02/2020 18:38
Cleckheaton report


The rest of this weeks pics


Re: West 20 Cleckheaton 19
old shepherd (IP Logged)
03/02/2020 07:19
Yet another great team effort. Well done lads. GO WEST!

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