West Hartlepool 10 Cleckheaton 17
Cleckheaton ended West Hartlepool’s unbeaten home record in a fractious game at Brinkburn.
The visitors had the benefit of a strong Teesside wind in the first period and capitalised with tries from Jack Bickerdike (pictured) and Martin Woodhead, along with a penalty and two conversions from Ross Hayden.
Wests responded with a converted try following a five-metre scrum.
On the stroke of half-time the contestants were reduced in number as a Cleckheaton player was given a red card and a player from each side shown a yellow.
Despite the disadvantage, a manful display kept Wests at bay until the 70th minute when a penalty, which was accompanied by another sin binning for Cleckheaton, brought the home side within seven points.
Cleckheaton had to show all their title-chasing credentials to keep Wests out while reduced to 13 men for a tense last ten minutes – and they did so successfully.