CLECKHEATON, back in North One East action for the first time since December 2 due to frozen pitches and the festive break, went down 29-5 at fourth-placed Bridlington.

There were also some unavailabilities to contend with as injuries kept both regular locks – Luke Pearson and Ryan Piercy – out of the game, while other commitments meant that Ben Thrower, Josh Plunkett and Jack Bickerdike could not play and Bailey Smith withdrew with a late knock.

Coach Thiu Barnard played in the second row, with Neil Cherryholme, James Crowther moved to back row and Niall Jackson to hooker, while James Wilson switched to scrum half and Liam Darville to full back.

Given the above changes, Cleckheaton started relatively well and it was 0-0 after 15 minutes, only for Bridlington to kick an easy penalty.

With half an hour gone, a neat reverse pass from Bridlington’s scrum half found a support runner at pace for a well-executed try which was converted.

However, with only a few minutes left in the half, the turkey dinners, chocolates and wine began to show for Cleckheaton as Brid’s No 8 picked up from the back of the scrum and bounced through a couple of tackles for an easy converted try.

Trailing 17-0, Cleck started the second half much more brightly and easily had the best of the opening ten minutes.

The pressure paid dividends when Matt Piper and Darville combined to put Mikey Hayward in for a try – but the visitors started to rack up handling errors and some promising attacks were thwarted.

Their one-up tackling also began to suffer and Bridlington took full advantage with another try midway through the half.

They then went in for their bonus-point try with a few minutes remaining as Cleckheaton’s Christmas hangover continued.