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On-song Cleckheaton claim derby spoils at Morley
Morley 8 Cleckheaton 34
In-form Cleckheaton ended Morley’s 11-match winning run in emphatic style with a dominant five-try and five-star performance.
The visitors had control in most phases of the game, especially up front where Oliver Akroyd was imperious in the line.
Cleckheaton took the lead when a maul was driven expertly to the line for controller-in-chief Richard Piper to claim his first try.
The conversion was miss-ed but Iain Gordon was successful eight minutes later with a well-struck penalty.
Yellow cards were brandished to two of the more combative forwards in Dave Green of Morley and Ryan Piercy of Cleckheaton. Gordon also spent ten minutes on the bench as the first half came to an end with Simon Bradshaw reducing the arrears through a penalty.
The visitors struck first after the break as Jack Bickerdike touched down and Gordon added the extras.
Cleckheaton were now in the ascendancy and the next penalty was drilled to touch on the five-metre line. The pack licked their lips with expectancy as the excellent Akroyd soared into the air for a magnificent clean catch.
His pack colleagues assumed their usual driving maul positions and Richard Piper once more latched on at the back of the moving structure. The inevitable try was scored and Gordon converted.
Morley hit back almost immediately when wingman Kobi Gyasi attempted to intercept a midfield pass but instead managed to regather the loose ball and raced away for a try.
Cleckheaton regrouped and extended their lead through excellent tries from Ross Hayden, who had looked most accomplished in his best position of full back, and James Wilson, who really has an eye for the line.
Gordon’s conversion of Wilson’s try was the last score and ensured the visitors claimed local bragging rights.
It was a bad day at the office for Morley but they are sure to be in the mix for honours at the end of the season.
They had come up against a side unbeaten in 2013 and enthused by their victory over league leaders Beverley the previous week.
Inconsistent they may be but this Cleckheaton side is a pleasure to watch at the moment.
With just seven games remaining and the Yorkshire Cup, who can bet against them ending the season on a high, if not with some silverware?