CLECKHEATON edged ever closer to securing their place in next season’s National League Three North campaign after overcoming fellow strugglers Birkenhead Park 22-17.
The Moorenders had to work exceptionally hard against a determined team desperate on staying in the division – and that work ethic put the hosts ahead after just two minutes. Dave Ibbotson was the man who touched down.
And the home supporters were soon given further hope when Adam Wellington crossed over following an impressive move.
Cleckheaton then looked down and out shortly afterwards when they failed to halt a rolling maul which led to the home side’s third try of the game after 30 minutes.
But, the Moorenders regrouped and salvaged some pride in the first half when they were awarded a penalty try following some good work from the forwards.
However the visitors still had their work cut out in the second period if they were to overturn a 12-point deficit.
But their hopes were boosted when man of the match Jack Bickerdike set up full-back James Wilson to touch down. Ronan Evans converted.
Cleckheaton continued in the ascendancy and crossed the whitewash again, this time Martin Woodhead got the ball down.
Evans’ touchline conversion then edged the away side in front for the first time in the game.
The Moorend outfit were finished there though and sealed the win in the final 10 minutes with a penalty goal from Evans.
The win leaves Cleckheaton two places above the drop zone and if they get just a single point out of their game at home to Rossendale tomorrow (Saturday, 3pm), or Huddersfield fail to earn five points from their match against Ilkley, then the Moorenders’ safety will be guaranteed in National League Three North.