Defeat leaves Cleck near the drop zone

Defeat leaves Cleck near the drop zone

CLECKHEATON slumped to a disappointing 10-8 home defeat to Doncaster Phoenix, a team below them in National League Three North and were dragged back into the relegation mire.

It meant that Doncaster Phoenix completed the double over the Moorenders following their 26-19 win in October and a last-minute score by the visitors denied Cleck a much-needed losing bonus point.

The win put Phoenix level on points with their hosts in the lower reaches of the league table on 31pts. With three clubs facing the drop, Morley find themselves in the last relegation spot but only two points behind this pair.

It all started well enough with Ross Hayden crossing in the first attack for Cleck and he converted to make it 7-0.

But in in wet and muddy conditions Phoenix dug deep and narrowed the gap with a 17th minute penalty goal from full-back Will Burden.

Burden gave the visitors a one-point lead when he touched down for the first of their three tries 10 minutes into the second half, but his missed conversion meant Hayden was able to give Cleckheaton the edge at 10-8 with his penalty in the 63rd minute.

That was as good as it got however, and prop Tom Bagnall ploughed his way over in the 69th minute to give Phoenix the lead for good.

As the game went into its last minute of normal time, scrum-half James Thompson raced over. The conversion was missed but the eight-point margin was enough to deny Cleckheaton the losing bonus point.

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