AFTER a poor start to the season Cleckheaton recovered well in 2016 to secure their safety in National League Three North for another year, following an impressive 25-12 win over Rossendale down at Moorend.
The game was evenly balanced in the opening exchanges but Cleckheaton struck first with a try from Matt Piper, and Ronan Evans was on target with his conversion to make it 7-0.
Rossendale did respond well to going behind but they failed to reduce the deficit and were punished by a rampant Cleckheaton side.
Following a powerful tackle from Richard Piper the Moorenders went on to score the best try of the day.
Jack Seddon collected the ball inside his own half, completed a lengthy run, before finding James Wilson in support who drew the Rossendale full-back before passing back inside to Seddon to complete a well-worked try.
The hosts didn’t have the game all their own way, however, George Peel went over for the mid-table visitors to narrow the score to 12-5.
But Seddon dealt Rossendale a severe blow when he went over for his second try shortly afterwards.
Evans missed the conversion but managed to add a penalty goal on the stroke of half time to make it 20-5.
In the second period tempers flared on both sides. Cleckheaton had two men sin-binned and Rossendale had a player sent off.
Danny Vento went in for Cleckheaton’s bonus point try but Evans was again off-target with his conversion attempt.
Vento’s try sealed the win and the Moorenders’ survival for another year, despite Rossendale’s Ryan de la Harpe going over for a late consolation touchdown.
The win was Cleckheaton’s third in a row in a terrific end to their campaign.
They travel to face Firwood Waterloo tomorrow (Saturday, 3pm) for the final outing of a turbulent season.