CLECKHEATON secured back-to-back victories for the first time since September with a decisive 41-24 victory over Malton and Norton.
The last time the two sides met was over three years ago, in April 2014, the week after Cleckheaton were crowned champions of North One East, earning them promotion to the National League Three.
The Moorenders went on to win that game 63-21 and put in a performance of similar calibre at the weekend, scoring six tries despite being reduced to 14 men for 10 minutes in each half.
Mike Swetman, who celebrated his 37th birthday on Sunday, opened the scoring with a penalty goal.
Minutes later Swetman’s boot proved key as Cleck went over for the game’s first try.
A delicate kick from the stand-off was chased down by winger Pat Foulstone who won the race to ground the ball and extend the lead.
The Spen Valley men then increased their advantage further following another penalty that they kicked to touch.
Ben Thrower was accurate with the line out that was safely gathered by Ryan Piercy to set up the catch and drive.
Brad Marsden took control of the ball at the back of the maul and dived to the floor over the whitewash.
Cleckheaton then had to weather a minor storm as Jack Bickerdike was sent to the sin-bin for an unintentional high tackle.
However the West Yorkshire side managed to stand firm and extend their lead further.
Liam Darville raced onto a kick up field and despite getting flattened by a Malton defender, he managed to hack the ball forward for Foulstone to gather and ground for his second try.
Malton hit back when a planned backs move created a gap in Cleck’s defence and Zwell Sodladla glided through to open the scoring for his team.
At the break Cleckheaton held the upper hand at 20-5.
Malton gave themselves some hope with an early converted try in the second half via their number eight, but any thoughts of a turnaround were quickly dispelled.
Cleckheaton introduced two substitutes, five minutes apart, who both scored with their very first touch of the game.
James Crowther was the first substitute to enter the fray and went in for Cleck’s bonus-point try after gathering a pass from over 20 metres out.
Soon after, Ronan Evans was introduced and went over after receiving the ball from Mikey Hayward, who had stepped inside the defender after gathering a superbly-weighted cross-field kick from Swetman.
Hayward then turned from provider to scorer, going in for the Moorenders’ sixth try of the afternoon, with a jinking run down the touchline.
Cleckheaton were well in control of the contest, but on the 65-minute mark, Mike Swetman was sent to the sin bin.
Malton made use of the extra man as they went over for their third try of the afternoon.
The hosts’ determination to get something from the game was rewarded in the closing minutes as they went over for a bonus-point try.
It was only small consolation for the home side who were outclassed by a Cleckheaon outfit that is beginning to click as the season moves into December.
Tomorrow afternoon Cleck welcome Newcastle side Percy Park to Moorend.