Cleckheaton hit back to claim share of the spoils

Oliver Akroyd scored during Cleckheaton's comeback

Oliver Akroyd scored during Cleckheaton's comeback Buy this photo

First published in Sport by

Middlesbrough 19, Cleckheaton 19

In a highly-competitive SSE North One East match, Middlesbrough came out with all guns blazing and inside 25 minutes were 19 points up with three tries from centre Robert Bellerby, winger Rhys Killbride and hooker Ashley Kearney, with two conversions from fly half Simon O'Farrell.

Cleckheaton were shell-shocked and, with Matt Piper in the sin bin, were looking down the barrel.

Slowly but surely, however, the visitors regained their composure and tries from Oliver Akroyd and Martin Woodhead, with one conversion from Ross Hayden, instigated a momentum swing.

In a high-tempo second half, both sides defended strongly but it was Cleckheaton who broke the deadlock when skipper Richard Piper drove over from a maul.

Hayden converted and, despite several scoring chances, the league champions had to be satisfied with a share of the spoils after a fine comeback.

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