Cleckheaton’s Waterloo as big lead slips away

Cleckheaton’s Waterloo as big lead slips away

THERE WAS disappointment for Cleckheaton on the last day of the league season as they let a 24-7 lead slip away in the last 20 minutes against a battling Waterloo.

Cleckheaton got off to a good start in the game in the hot and sunny conditions.

They opened the scoring 10 minutes into the match with the first of two almost identical tries.

A penalty-kick gave the home side field position 10 metres from Waterloo’s line and on both occasions the rolling maul was directed to the whitewash by the Moorenders’ pack.

Richard Piper touched the first one down and Rob Afoa Peterson got the second, both of which were converted from the touchline by Ross Hayden.

As the first half was entering injury time, Cleckheaton’s concentration faded.

Waterloo fielded a deep kick in their own 22, the ball was spun to winger Jacob Allen who went on to score arguably the best try of the day, evading three tacklers and then chipping over the last two defenders, before gathering his own kick for a try under the sticks. Liam Reeve added the extras.

There was time to restart before the whistle and on the stroke of half-time Cleckheaton won a penalty 50 metres out in the middle of the field.

With the kick deemed last play, Hayden landed an excellent long-range effort through the uprights to give the home team a 17-7 advantage at the break.

The second half started as brightly as the weather for Cleckheaton when Afoa-Peterson broke the line and off-loaded to Hayden.

The full-back drew a defender and fed Martin Woodhead, who went on a mazy run, rounding his opposite number for a try in the corner.

Hayden converted and the points were seemingly coming Cleckheaton’s way.

Waterloo had other ideas however, and as the strain of the Moorenders’ magnificent showing against Wharfedale on the Wednesday before this match took its toll, Cleckheaton’s first up tackling started to look a little tired.

First Jacob Allen got his second for the men from Merseyside and then ’Loo full-back James Masters went in to score.

Reeve added both conversions and his team were right back in the game at 24-21.

Just when it looked like Cleckheaton might hold on, Waterloo went in again, taking the lead for the first time in the match with only minutes to go.

Reeve converted his own try to take the visitors out of penalty or drop-goal range and despite best efforts to get back down field the score remained 28-24.

As Rossendale lost at home to Wirral, victory for Cleckheaton would have seen them finish fifth, however the Moorenders’ had to settle for a respectable sixth.

Cleckheaton do have one more game to play this season when a contingent of 38 from the club, including some of the 1st XV and Kestrels, travel to Poland to play Lechia Gdansk in a tour match on May 8.

Share this post