Cleckheaton came through a potentially difficult trip to Morpeth with a bonus point win to continue their push at the top of North East One.
Another first half blitz by the Moorenders saw them open a 24-0 lead and although Morpeth fought back after the break, the hard work had been done as Cleckheaton secured a 29-12 victory.
Cleckheaton almost took a seventh minute lead when Ross Hayden kicked a penalty into the corner but the resulting catch and drive was adjudged to have been held up.
From the resulting scrum, Matt Piper barged over for an unconverted try.
Cleckheaton’s second followed soon after when another penalty and a line-out saw captain Richard Piper driven over the line for his 15th league try of the season. Hayden added the touchline conversion.
The pack worked brilliantly together as Morpeth were prevented from scoring and when Cleckheaton turned over possession from one home attack, Johnno Marshall, in at stand-off for the unavailable Michael Piper, combined well with Martin Woodhead to advance the ball 40 metres down field.
The ball was offloaded to Hayden, who finished off a lovely flowing counter-attack.
The conversion drifted wide but Cleckheaton had moved into a 17-0 lead.
Cleckheaton’s bonus point try came when Craig Blackburn created space and Marshall executed a beautifully weighted crossfield kick, which Blackburn caught and fed Matt Piper for his second. Hayden added the extras as the referee blew for half-time.
Cleckheaton introduced 18 year-old Jack Seddon and 20 year-old Alex Dawson to the fray and both made excellent contributions.
Cleckheaton went further in front when several drives on the short side eventually crumpled Morpeth’s defence, allowing Matt Piper to race up the touch line. He fed Hayden who chipped ahead for Martin Woodhead to collect for a delightful try. The conversion hit the post.
Morpeth, to their credit, could have capitulated but instead turned up their work rate and David Dickinson pounced for a try.
Frustrations boiled over with a bout of fisticuffs before Morpeth winger Andrew Telford scored a second consolation try but it was not enough to prevent Cleckheaton making the long trip home with another bonus point win.