Cleckheaton 20 Pocklington 17

CLECKHEATON returned to winning ways in a terrific game at the weekend, battling back from 17-8 down and three sin-binnings to take the spoils in their North One East clash with Pocklington.

Mikey Hayward returned in place of the injured Mike Swetman and new signing Danny Booth was included on the bench.

Cleckheaton started perfectly when crisp passing gave Martin Woodhead the chance to cross for his fifth try in six games, which put the hosts five points up in as many minutes.

After 30 minutes, Josh Malkinson was deemed to have brought down a rolling maul illegally and was shown a yellow card. The visitors took advantage and spread the ball left for full back Christian Pollock to race in to tie the score at 5-5.

Deep into first half stoppage time, Mikey Hayward threw his arm out in an attempted grab, which was adjudged to be high and he also took a trip to the sin bin.

Pocklington took advantage, breaking down Cleckheaton’s defence for Pollock's second try, which gave the visitors a 10-5 lead at half-time.

Early in the second half, Dearing kicked a routine penalty goal to narrow the score to 10-8 but Pocklington extended their lead after two missed tackles in midfield by Cleck led to a try for the opposition winger.

The conversion was added to put the visitors 17-8 in front but Cleckheaton’s spirit was not dampened, and they hit back when slick handling put Alex Browne in space to power in at the corner to make it 17-13.

Ben Thrower was then sin-binned for dissent for Cleckheaton, but superb defensive commitment from the likes of Jack Bickerdike, Ryan Piercy, Andy Piper and Joey Carley came to the fore.

On 75 minutes, Piper and Hayward combined to put replacement Booth in space and he sped over in the corner. A towering touchline conversion by Dearing saw Cleckheaton regain the lead at 20-17.

A nail-biting finale was in prospect but Pocklington refused a 35 metre kick in front of the posts after Paul Turner illegally decided to kick the ball out of the ruck.

The penalty would have levelled the scores but Pocklington opted for the scrum. Cleckheaton’s defence did not falter and they kept the visitors at bay until they eventually coughed up the ball.

Skipper Matty Piper then gleefully kicked the ball out of play for a hard earned victory and two valuable points.