CLECKHEATON have eased their relegation fears with a convincing 50-17 win over Stockport in National League Three North.
The Moorenders ran in eight tries in total thanks to a dominant second-half performance, but Stockport did cause the hosts one or two problems in the first 40 minutes.
Cameron Burnhill put the Moorenders into an early lead when good footwork took the full back past a would-be defender before racing 35 metres to the line.
A well-worked move in the backs soon brought Cleckheaton further points when a deceptive pass from Ronan Evans put Burnhill through a gap and he fed Lee Queeley for an excellent try.
Cleckheaton led 10-0 after as many minutes but were then plagued by a spell of indiscipline and a series of technical offences put Stockport within penalty goal range.
Scott Redfearn had the kicking duties for the visitors and put his team on the board.
And shortly after the restart the same player intercepted a loose pass from Cleckheaton and raced 40 metres to the sticks. His successful conversion put Stockport level at 10-10 and the sides remained level at the break, leaving Cleckheaton stunned as they prepared themselves for the second half.
At the change of ends Cleck knew they would have to up the tempo and reduce the penalty count and started the second period in that manner. A spilled pass from Stockport was collected by Evans, who fed Josh Hall for a try in the corner. Evans converted.
Richard Piper then controlled the ball at the base of the scrum and dribbled it over for Cleckheaton’s fourth try and the Moorenders were now firmly back in control.
Jack Seddon went in for two tries for Cleck either side of one from Danny Vento, who also had a fine game on his first appearance for many matches due to work commitments.
Martin Woodhead scored Cleckheaton’s eighth and final try of the afternoon when he weaved through a tired defence and Evans brought the 50 points up with a difficult conversion.
Stockport didn’t give up though and were rewarded for their efforts with a last-minute consolation try for McFadden.
Despite a convincing win Cleck realise they have a lot of improvements to make ahead of their short trip to face Morley tomorrow (Sat, 2.15pm).
A win would take the Moorenders 16 points clear of the drop zone as they start 2017, but Morley have strengthened in recent weeks and are a different prospect to the side that started the season.
Meanwhile the Cleckheaton Fourths will get the weekend under way when they play Morley Thirds tonight (Fri, 7:30pm) at Moorend. Entry to the game is free.
And this year’s traditional Boxing Day derby against Old Brodleians will take place away at Hipperholme with an 11am start.