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Cleckheaton are top of the pile
Cleckheaton 32, Rochdale 3
Cleckheaton went to the top of SSE North One East with this second successive bonus-point victory.
Ultimately the differences between the teams was the home side's clinical finishing coupled with a hard, abrasive edge in defence.
Following an early yellow card for Rochdale's fly half Rob Neave, Cleckheaton took the lead with a Ross Hayden penalty, Richard Piper adding a try from a well-choreographed driving maul, converted by Hayden.
Oli Coldman reduced the arrears with a penalty for the visitors but a carbon-copy try of his first by Richard Piper and a further Hayden penalty put Cleckheaton 18-3 up at the break.
A slick, well-constructed try by Hayden, which he converted, extended the advantage to 22 points but the last quarter of an hour saw sustained pressure from Rochdale.
Time and again tenacious defence kept out the visitors' attacks and, on the stroke of full-time, winger James Wilson intercepted a speculative long pass to sprint 90 yards for the bonus-point try which was converted by Hayden, who scored 17 points.
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