Match Report: Cleckheaton 43 – 5 Percy Park
By Neil Gillan
Cleckheaton sparkle in 6 try romp
Cleckheaton powered to victory over Percy Park turning in their best performance of the season so far. Ryan Piercy returned to the second row replacing Brad Marsden who was unavailable in the only change from last week's victory at Morley.
Percy Park kicked off with the wind in their favour but were put under early pressure which paid dividends when captain Matt Piper burst through some weak tackling to score to the right of the posts. Dale Breakwell converted and Cleck had an early lead at 7-0. The visitors made some progress down field and a rolling maul was stopped short of the line by some resolute defence with Joey Carley leading the way. Park had a very effective lineout but the Cleck pack was dominant in the scrums. From deep inside the home 22, Jack Seddon charged up to halfway, support was on hand by the half backs and after two quick phases the ball was worked to Mike Hayward who crossed wide on the right. Dale Breakwell added a towering conversion to continue his impressive goal kicking run and Cleck had a handy 14-0 lead on 21 minutes. Breakwell added another penalty goal on 28 minutes to extend the lead further. The dominance of the home team pack led to a third try when a disrupted scrum saw Seddon gallop towards the try line. He was hauled down less than a metre short but Mike Swetman was in support to plunge over next to the posts. Breakwell’s boot added the extras for an impressive 24-0 lead at half time.
Percy Park came out with renewed vigour in the early minutes of the second half and only failed to open their account when a knock on thwarted their progress. On 58 minutes the visitors scored a try wide on the right after good hands by both backs and forwards, the conversion drifted wide, leaving the score at 24-5. Danny Booth made some fine runs and burst clear on halfway and looked certain to score but the referee adjudged he had been held up over the line by a superb cover tackle. The 5 metre scrum that followed was rumbled forward and Seddon controlled the ball at No.8 to dive over the line for the bonus point score. Breakwell added the conversion to give him 11 consecutive successes since joining the club and Cleck looked to have the game in the bag at 31-5 with 13 minutes left to play. The next action involved the referee issuing a couple of cards, the first to Paul Turner on 70 minutes for deliberately slowing down play in an offside position. This was followed 2 minutes later with a red card for the opposition for an alleged abusive comment. It mattered little as Breakwell and Booth combined down the middle, the latter finding Hayward on his shoulder who went in for a score wide on the left. Breakwell’s run of successful conversions came to an end but Cleck were running away with it at 36-5.
The final score came in added time when Matt Piper, Booth, Hayward and Wilson combined and when a maul formed Swetman was on hand to cross for his second try of the afternoon. Breakwell started a new run of successful conversions when he added his 6th goal from 7 attempts on the day.
This was a very encouraging performance from Cleckheaton, with Breakwell’s tactical kicking putting the pack on the front foot and adding a spring to the team’s step. Jack Seddon had an outstanding came as did Joey Carley and they shared the Man of the Match. The 5 league points the team secured moves them up a place to 10th but there is a log jam in mid table with just a handful of points covering 5 places. Next week Cleckheaton are away at Bradford & Bingley in the last game before the Christmas break.