Leaders Cleckheaton march on to seal seventh home win

Captain Marvel: Cleckheaton's Richard Piper scored another hat-trick of tries, adding to his impressive haul for the North One East leaders this season.
Captain Marvel: Cleckheaton's Richard Piper scored another hat-trick of tries, adding to his impressive haul for the North One East leaders this season.

Cleckheaton’s march towards the North One East title continued as they clinched a seventh home win, defeating Driffield 33-14 at Moorend.

Cleckheaton started at a fast tempo and after an early raid was repelled, a second line-out led to the prolific Rich Piper adding to his try scoring tally by directing the pack across the whitewash. Ross Hayden added the touchline goal.

Matt Piper and Hayden combined to split the visitors’ defence but the last pass to James Wilson could not be gathered.

However, further sustained pressure and another line-out resulted in Rich Piper scoring his second, following a Rob Afoa Peterson drive.

Piper completed his hat-trick just past the half hour when another rolling maul was too strong for Driffield to contain. Hayden converted to make it 19-0.

A rare defensive lapse allowed Driffield to gain good field position and full-back Furbank scored between the posts. Lucas converted on the stroke of half-time.

Driffield’s left winger intercepted a pass and raced away. Martin Woodhead gave chase and completed the tackle but Cleck’s defence was scrambling and Andy Piper was sin-binned for holding up play.

Another Cleckheaton infringement saw the referee award a penalty try, converted by Lucas, as Driffield reduced the deficit to 19-14.

Driffield were also reduced to 14 men when a forward was yellow carded and a powerful run from Matt Piper set up Grant Turton for the try scoring bonus point. Hayden converted from the touchline.

Cleckheaton’s final try of the game came when Michael Piper reacted to a dropped pass and hacked the ball upfield.

Hayden kicked on and collected to dive between the posts and add the goal.

Shortly after the re-start Driffield forward Falkingham suffered a significant injury.

Cleckheaton club doctor Jim Lee was on hand and after a quick assessment called for an ambulance.

Although Falkingham suffered concussion, he was released from Pinderfields hospital, in Wakefield, later on Saturday evening.

With the light fading and floodlights already on, the referee called both captains together and they mutually agreed to end the game early with the match result and any bonus points already effectively determined.