AN ASSURED performance from Cleckheaton saw them edge that little bit closer to safety in National League Three North, having leapfrogged Huddersfield YMCA thanks to a 22-17 win away at Stockport.
Cleckheaton’s pack got off to a good start and gained the upper hand over their rivals.
And after 10 minutes Cleckheaton had their first try following a catch and drive from a line-out which was touched down by Richard Piper. Ronan Evans converted to make it 7-0.
But a loose pass shortly afterwards allowed Stockport to get off the mark with a try. Oli Longmore was the man with the touchdown and Jonny Edwards kicked the conversion to draw his side level.
The Moorenders hit back when Matt Piper played in fellow centre James Wilson to place the ball down under the sticks. Evans was again accurate with the conversion.
And Cleckheaton closed the first half as they started it with the forwards dominating proceedings. The dominance led to Richard Piper crossing over for his second try of the game to give his side a 19-7 lead at the change of ends.
Stockport upped their game after the restart but strong defending from the visitors kept them at bay.
Stockport resorted to playing the ball out wide as the Moorenders’ pack was proving too strong.
The half remained scoreless until the hour mark following good tackling from Brad Marsden and Martin Woodhead to stifle any danger from the hosts.
Evans then extended the away side’s lead with a well struck goal 35 metres out.
Stockport rallied to attempt an unlikely comeback from 15 points down.
Jordan Simpson touched down and when the visitors were reduced to 14 men nerves intensified in the Cleckheaton camp.
But with just nine minutes left the Moorenders held out from conceding a try.
Stockport were awarded a penalty which Edwards converted to make the final score 22-17 in the Yorkshiremen’s favour.
Cleckheaton host Rossendale tomorrow (Saturday, 3pm) as they look to extend the gap between themselves and the relegation zone with a win in their game in hand.