Cleckheaton’s winning run ends as they let lead slip against Pocklington

Cleckheaton lost ground in the North One East title race when their six-match winning run was surprisingly brought to a halt by mid-table Pocklington at Moorend.

By Tony Harber
Tuesday, 29th March 2022, 2:29 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th March 2022, 2:30 pm
Cleckheaton were unable to make it seven wins on the spin as they surprisingly lost to Pocklington.
Cleckheaton were unable to make it seven wins on the spin as they surprisingly lost to Pocklington.

In losing 26-19 they at least collected a losing bonus point and despite the defeat they remain in third place in the table, but they are now six points behind Ilkley and Driffield, with the former having a game in hand.

Cleckheaton scored first on six minutes when attacking from deep through a barnstorming run from Tom Hainsworth who made it all the way to the line for the opening try, to which Dale Breakwell added the extras.

Pocklington replied with two penalty goals by Pollock and the hosts went down a man when Dom Brambani was shown a yellow card for a high tackle.

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Despite this Cleck came up with a second try as Hainsworth made another break before drawing the full-back to send Jack Marshall over for his 15th try of the season.

The conversion attempt went wide, but the home team had a 12-6 lead and were looking good at this stage.

However, they then conceded several penalties to come under pressure and eventually hooker Bell crossed for a try, converted by Pollock to give Pock the lead.

Pocklington tightened up their defence in the second half and won turnover ball regularly to disrupt the home attacks.

Pollock nudged them further in front with his third successful penalty.

They then came up with a crucial try on 67 minutes when taking advantage of a Cleck handling error, their back rower racing 50 metres for a try that made it 21-12.

The hosts looked to hit back when they won turnover ball themselves and there was a swift exchange of passes in the backs, but Hainsworth just failed to cling onto the ball and the chance was lost.

Cleckheaton went down to 14 for the second time when Thiu Barnard was sin-binned as tempers were getting a bit frayed. Again the response was initially good as Dom Flanagan, Marshall and Ollie Depledge combined well to put Mikey Hayward into space, but as he dived for the corner he was deemed to have lost the ball.

To compound this, Pocklington worked an overlap down their left and crossed for another try to take the score out to 26-12.

Cleckheaton did keep going, however, and were rewarded with a converted try in the final minute to secure a losing bonus point as Ben Thrower controlled a rolling maul from a line- out before diving over the line. Breakwell’s touchline goal to complete the scoring.

After only their second loss in their last 12 games Cleckheaton will now be keen to bounce back when they travel to Scarborough this Saturday, 3pm.