Cleckheaton strike late to secure second league win

Richard Piper scored his first try of the season as Cleckheaton edged out Rossendale to record a second win in National Three North. Picture: Mike Cowling
Richard Piper scored his first try of the season as Cleckheaton edged out Rossendale to record a second win in National Three North. Picture: Mike Cowling
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Cleckheaton produced a terrific defensive effort to defeat Rossendale 17-14 and register a second straight home win in National Three North.

There were anxious moments for the Moorend faithful as Rossendale piled on late pressure but turned down a penalty shot at goal, which would have levelled the game.

Cleckheaton’s defence stood firm from the resulting tap and forced Rossendale into an error as they held on for victory.

Rob Afoa Paterson produced some big hits as defences were on top for the opening quarter until Rossendale no8 Ryan McKibbon broke from the back of a maul and evaded a tackleto score. Steve Nutt converted.

A catch and drive line-out found Ollie Akroyd and Rossendale’s defensive efforts were in vain as Richard Piper went over for Cleckheaton’s first try. Ross Hayden levelled with the conversion close to the touchline.

Rossendale were reduced to 14 men when their openside flanker was shown a yellow card but Cleck were unable to take advantage.

Afoa Peterson was forced off injured at half-time and Rossendale regained the lead 10 minutes after the break via a pushover try of their own, which they converted.

Jack Bickerdike had to leave the field with a recurrence of a knee injury that has plagued the player all month.

James Wilson entered the fray and slotted in at scrum half.

Cleckheaton started to build pressure in the final quarter with Richard Piper and man-of-the-match Alex Dawson threatening.

Cleckheaton won a line out 10 metres from the line and the ensuing maul was illegally pulled down and the referee awarded a penalty try. Hayden kicked the simple conversion to level once again.

Cleckheaton took the lead for the first time with a penalty from 30 metres in the final minute.

A fumbled re-start gave Rossendale possession and although Cleck regained possession, a loose pass saw the ball land in the Moorenders’ in-goal area.

Rossendale piled on the pressure but the home defence remained solid and repelled anything they threw at them.

When the visitors turned down a penalty goal attempt, Cleckheaton again prevented Rossendale from crossing the line to register victory.