Harrison departs on a high with Cleck victory
Cleckheaton gave departing coach Dave Harrison the perfect send off by beating Wheatley Hills 32-17 in his final game in charge.
ton third place in North One East after they won 11 out of 12 league games since Christmas — the best record over the period of any club.
Harrison has decided to take a break from front line coaching and the club is grateful for his commitment and energy over the last four, often difficult years.
Games between the two clubs are always competitive and this was no exception.
A try each for the league’s leading try scorers Richard Piper and Gareth Burns ignited the game in the first six minutes.
An individual effort from Hills big lock Gareth Manuel which was converted by full back Jonny Woodcock.
Cleckheaton hit back with Richard Piper’s second try following good line out possession from Oliver Akroyd. Iain Gordon’s conversion was unsuccessful but on the stroke of half-time he landed a penalty.
Both sides played open rugby creating an entertaining spectacle.
Hard-working Cleck lock Grant Turton extended the lead with a try, which Gordon converted and on the hour Craig Blackburn finished off an excellent handling move to romp over wide out for the game’s best try.
Gordon kicked his most difficult conversion of the afternoon from wide out.
Burns reduced the arrears with his second try but Cleckheaton finished the stronger as Martin Woodhead sprinted over to complete the scoring.
Departing coach Dave Harrison should be proud of the way his players have pulled together to, at times, produce some irresistible play and it has been a very satisfactory end to the season.