Moorenders' losing streak ends with win at Billingham

CLECKHEATON RUFC ended their losing streak in National League Three North with a 27-7 away win at Billingham.

The away side stuck to their game plan throughout the match in tricky conditions to win only their third outing of the season.

Captain Richard Piper elected for his side to play uphill and into the wind in the first half.

Cleck’s forwards worked tirelessly to carry the ball into Billingham’s defence, but play took place largely between the halfway line and Cleckheaton’s 22.

The visitors showed patience, and despite kicking not being an option due to a strong head wind, the away side demonstrated good ball retention for the majority of the first period.

But a momentary lapse in concentration did allow Billingham to get their only score of the game after 20 minutes.

A quick line-out from the hosts was collected by Luke Wilson who darted to the line unopposed. Pete Evans converted to give his side a 7-0 lead.

But the visitors made sure they weren’t trailing at the interval.

After a sustained period of possession in the Billingham half Richard Piper went in for a try. Josh Hall added the conversion.

In the second period the Moorenders new they had the upper hand playing down wind and despite the isolated breakaway Cleck kept Billingham penned inside their own half.

Neil Chivers found himself in plenty of space to land a drop goal and give his side the lead for the first time in the match.

Shortly afterwards youngster Luke Pearson went over for his side’s second try. Ronan Evans converted before adding a penalty which gave the away side a 20-7 advantage.

Cleckheaton were wary of a Billingham comeback having been reduced to 14 men due to a yellow card, but Jack Seddon completed the win with a late try to settle any lingering nerves. Evans added the extras.

The Moorenders, who remain 11th after the victory, aim to make it two wins on the bounce when they welcome Hull to Moorend tomorrow (Sat, 2.15pm).

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