Durham City unable to conquer fortress Moorend

Durham City unable to conquer fortress Moorend

CLECKHEATON maintained their winning record at Moorend with an impressive 38-17 bonus-point win over Durham City.

They made it four wins out of four on home soil in the new season with a good all-round performance, including a dominant display in the pack and a man-of-the-match role from Mikey Hayward out wide.

Several players had picked up knocks in the defeat at York the previous week. Joey Carley was on the bench at the start along with Chris Piper and Archie Rika-Rayne, as Brad Marsden returned and Jack Seddon was back at number eight.

Cleckheaton got on the board first with a pin-point kick across the field from Dale Breakwell which found Hayward. He still had plenty to do but evaded a couple of despairing tackles to excellently score wide on the left and establish an early 5-0 lead.

A terrific rolling maul made some 20 metres down the right towards the try line but hooker Ben Thrower was adjudged to have broken away from the maul and the chance was lost. 

Tempers were getting a bit frayed as the half went on. Durham had a player sent to the sin bin when Jack Marshall got a bang on the nose which forced him off the field to stem the flow of blood, bringing Carley into play in the unfamiliar right wing position with James Wilson reverting to full-back. 

The numerical advantage didn’t last as Dale Breakwell incurred the wrath of the referee with a high tackle and he was also shown yellow on the half-hour mark. Durham kicked the simple penalty to make it 5-3. 

The Cleck lead was extended when captain Matt Piper backed up some smart work by Tom Breakwell to crash through under the posts, and the scorer also added the extras for a 12-3 half-time lead.

Durham had the majority of the possession at the start of the second half and put the home team under great pressure with some superb ball retention. It came as no surprise when they scored next to the posts after a period of pressure to reduce the gap to three points.

Marshall returned after his blood injury and Cleckheaton were back at full strength, with Dale Breakwell out of the bin and Chris Piper brought on for Ben Thrower. 

The Cleck pack were starting to dominate proceedings and another classic rolling maul, after Tom Austin won ball at the lineout, saw prop Andy Piper rumble over the whitewash to extend the lead to 17-10. 

Just five minutes later, Jack Seddon got on the end of a superb ball from Olly Depledge to give Cleckheaton a bit of breathing space and the bonus-point try, which Dale Breakwell converted.

Durham added their second try on 66 minutes though, with the conversion narrowing the difference to only one score again.

From the restart the ball didn’t go 10 metres and Cleckheaton set about restoring their lead. Andy Piper again controlled the driving maul for his second try of the game and Dale Breakwell kicked for a 31-17 advantage. 

With the home pack dominant, the Durham prop was sin-binned for an incorrect bind and in similar fashion to the previous driving maul, the Durham pack was sent into reverse. This time Ryan Piercy crashed over for his second try of the season and Breakwell’s boot completed the win.

Share this post