The score masks the real story, a close encounter between Cleckheaton and Bees with Cleckheaton controlling long periods of the game as Mark McGovern reports...
From the kick off Cleck won the ball, kept the play tight in the forwards, driving forward and putting early pressure on the Bees line. Five minutes into the game the inevitable happened and a strong scrum paved the way for C.Hidle to drive through for Cleck’s first try. Continued strong running from L.Somers, S.Reid and L.Tetley helped Cleckheaton maintained a strong positional advantage.
After some excellent defensive tackling, solid forward play led to a break for Hidle’s second try. After this Cleck found themselves under pressure and only strong defensive tackling from H.Dezelak, B.Lockwood and C.Dixon combined with good running out of defence from full back D.Archer kept the Bees out. After a penalty on the Cleck 22line, the Bees finally broke through for their first try. Two quick tries followed from the Bees, both from long kicks and fast following up.
After the re-start Cleck pushed forward again, another scrum close to the Bees line allowed A.Owens to steal the ball passing to E.Curley who scored Cleckheaton’s third try, ending the first half with Cleckheaton down 19-15.
In the second half the Bees pushed forward but strong defensive tackling from T.Peel, H.Parkin, F.Purdy and J.Clough led to turnover ball and Cleck moving forward again with S.Gatenby feeding out the ball well at fly half. A scrum, won against the head led to C.McGovern breaking and passing the ball out to Hidle for his third try. After a long period of forward plays from both sides, with J.Sagar, AJ.Softley and L.Collins tackling and rucking well, the Bees scored another try.
With ten minutes to go as Cleck pushed forward on the Bees try line, a line out won against the throw gave the Bees another break away try. The Bees backs who had played well all day managed two more tries in the last five minutes against some very tired legs, ending what had been, for the majority of the game an excellent all round team performance from Cleckheaton.