Yellow cards prove costly as Cleckheaton lose out in derby

Cleckheaton were made to pay for poor discipline as they lost a West Yorkshire derby 30-16 to Old Brodleians in North East One.

Friday, 8th October 2021, 8:00 am
Old Brodleians' Elliot Craven is all wrapped up by Cleckheaton tacklers. Picture: Robin Sugden

After victories in their first three league matches it is now two straight defeats for the Moorenders and they have a few things to sort out ahead of their next North East One game at home to Moortown on October 16.

In their first competitive match against Old Brods for almost 10 years, they found themselves 15-0 down to the newly promoted team before finally producing the kind of rugby that had seen them start the campaign well.

Brodleians were ahead from the sixth minute of a match played under floodlights from the start with conditions soggy, centre Phil Town kicking an early penalty to make it 3-0.

Old Brodleians' Jimmy Hodkinson takes some stopping on a determined burst against Cleckheaton. Picture: Robin Sugden

Brods lost Cameron Wroot to the sin-bin for a no arms tackle and two minutes later the hosts were also down a man with Olly Depledge yellow carded for a deliberate knock-on.

Brodleians capitalised soon after with the first try as the home defence was stretched and Jimmy Hodkinson saw his opportunity to go for the line, finishing well from short range .

The visitors’ domination of the line-out was beginning to tell and from one of the throw-ins Town made an outside break, Michael Briggs was in support and his strong running took him to the line for a further try. Town’s conversion extended the lead to 15-0.

Cleckheaton responded with a pick and go tactic paying dividends and they put their first points on the board on 28 minutes as Tom Hainsworth finished off a move in the corner after the ball had been sent right then left.

From the restart Cleck continued to press and were back on the attack following a well taken long range kick to touch by fly-half Dale Breakwell. However, the pressure was relieved with a break out from defence by Adam Sutcliffe who took play from the Brods 22 deep into home territory.

Hainsworth was then sin-binned was not releasing after he had made a fine tackle to halt a dangerous visitors’ run.

The 14 men defended well, but on the stroke of half-time Joe Flanagan also saw yellow for a late tackle, leaving the home team down to 13 for the start of the second half.

Brodleians looked to make their extra numbers pay, but good defence held them out as the pressure did not come to anything.

Cleckheaton cut their deficit to four points as Dale Breakwell landed two impressive long range penalty goals.

Back up to a full complement of players, the hosts had dragged themselves back into the contest, but a Town penalty enabled their opponents to stretch their lead again to 18-11.

They then came up with their third try on 58 minutes after creating an overlap for Alex Murphy to finish in the corner.

Cleckheaton were on the back foot again and conceded another try when a long pass from Town spread the ball wide for Dom Georgiou to score the bonus point try. The conversion made it 30-11.

Cleck showed great spirit in the final 10 minutes with several attacks mounted on the visitors’ line. They were eventually rewarded when a cross kick from Dale Breakwell was gathered well on the left wing by Mike Hayward who touched down in the corner for the final score of the match.

There were some positives for Cleckheaton, notably from Hainsworth who ran some powerful lines out wide and Hayward who made good ground out of defence.

But having to spend nearly 30 minutes of the game down to 14 men proved costly in the end so discipline will have to be improved in the coming weeks. It also seems that some work needs to be done in the line-out to ensure better possession is won in this department.

Cleckheaton have a break from league rugby this Saturday, but are in Yorkshire Shield action at Moorend at home to Pocklington, kick-off 3pm.