Northern Division North One East: Cleckheaton 20 – 24 York

CLECKHEATON faced York for the third time this season, knowing a win would give them the bragging rights between the two sides, with a victory apiece ahead of the tie.

Both sides were also eager to end poor recent league form and Cleckheaton had to make several changes to the pack due to injury and player unavailability.

Ollie Depledge was one of those changes, stepping in to the half back position after more than two years out of the game.

Visitors York kicked off with the wind behind them and it became very obvious that their pacey backs were their main strike force and that they would like to play an expansive game.

A quick ball to both wings had the Cleck cover stretched in the early stages but strong defence kept the away side at bay.

But, a penalty goal on eight minutes by Dale Breakwell got the scoreboard moving in Cleck’s favour, putting them 3-0 to the good.

Both sides had difficulty in getting the final pass to hand, as play was brought back several times due to handling errors.

York took the lead on 30 minutes with a try by prop Rutherford, who burrowed under the tackle of Josh Plunkett after good ball retention. Jon Dawes added the conversion 3-7.

Cleck restarted the game and, as has happened on other occasions this season, didn't touch the ball until another try had been scored by scrum half Atkin on 33 minutes.

York went into the break with a 14-3 lead.

In the second period, Cleck hooker Joey Carley was prominent and he supported a break by Mike Swetman and Matt Piper down the left flank to score a try.

A Breakwell follow-up conversion brought Cleck back within contention at 10-14.

On 49 minutes, it became a single point game as Breakwell added another penalty goal from 25 metres.

Moments later York's Lewis Hannibal offered his opinion to the official and was promptly yellow carded.

Cleck couldn't make the numerical advantage pay however and York scored an unconverted try via Luke Stockton to make the score 13-19.

Restored to full strength, York added a bonus point try through their Man of the Match, Toby Atkin.

In the last 10, Cleck took a scrum option after a York offside where they were again reduced to 14 men.

York infringed as they were powered backwards, resulting in the referee awarding a penalty try to put a turn-around in reach at 20-24.

The visitors were hanging on by any means possible when another of their players was sent to the bin.

But, it was not be Cleck’s day once again and York took the spoils.