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.