Nine-try Cleckheaton in demolition job

Nine-try Cleckheaton in demolition job

CLECKHEATON turned in their best performance of the season so far with an impressive 59-16 demolition of a depleted West Hartlepool.

Moorend has already been turned into a fortress with this victory over a newly-promoted side making it three wins out of three on home turf.

Dale Breakwell starred with a 24-point personal haul, featuring two tries and seven goals, and Jack Marshall and Mikey Hayward also crossed twice, although Joey Carley took the man of the match award for his all-round performance.

Jack Seddon was omitted this week with a slight hamstring strain, which saw Brad Marsden return to play at openside flanker with Tom Austin moving to the number eight position.

The visitors kicked off and got their hands on the ball first but were penalised in a promising position. Breakwell found touch from the penalty and, with lineout ball secured, the backs got moving to the right corner. Wilson was stopped short but Ollie Depledge was on hand to wriggle over in the corner and Breakwell added the extras from a difficult angle.

Cleckheaton added a second try almost immediately, as the ball was moved left and a superb delayed pass put flanker Carley in for a fine score which Breakwell again converted to make it 14-0.

When the home team were pegged back for a time inside their 22 with successive penalties, Matt Piper was given a team warning by the referee and Wests kicked a simple penalty through scrum-half Stu Waites for their first points.

On 23 minutes, Ollie Depledge made a great break but a magnificent tackle took him to ground and he was held up over the line. From the five-metre scrum, Matt Piper was stood outside-half and Breakwell took a reverse pass from him to score under the posts, which he improved to take the score out to 21-3.

Marshall then got the ball deep inside his own 22 and combined with Depledge and Hayward to take the return pass on halfway and race away for a fine bonus-point try.

There was time for a fifth score before half-time as Breakwell got his second of the afternoon after Hayward, Marshall and second row Plunkett combined to make it 33-3 at the break.

It took less than a minute for Cleckheaton to move the score further along in the second half. Wests failed to secure the kick off and when Ben Thrower made a few metres down the middle, the ball got to Hayward who put Marshall in for his second try.

Hayward was then on hand to pick up the ball after a huge tackle by Marsden in midfield saw the speedy winger cross for his sixth try of the season in the corner and stretch their lead to 45-3.

As Cleckheaton were dominant, the bench was active as Archie Rika-Rayne, Ben Dearing and Charlie McGovern all got some game time.

Hayward sliced through the defence again on 65 minutes after good work by Wilson and Depledge for his seventh try of the season, with Breakwell converting to make it 52-3.

West Hartlepool got some consolation with two late scores. The first was a good try by centre Peter Youll, who was a constant threat throughout, on 72 minutes.

Five minutes later, the visitors were penalised 10 metres out in front of the posts, Marsden took a tap penalty and the maul rumbled over the line with Thrower controlling the movement and touching the ball down for another try converted by Breakwell.

As time ran out West Hartlepool crossed for a second try by Stu Waites, who also converted.

Despite the big victory, Cleckheaton remain in fifth place ahead of Saturday’s trip to York (tomorrow, kick-off 3pm), who are one point and one place behind them in the table.

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