Cleckheaton produced a battling display but were unable to prevent a 25-14 defeat at home to Hull in National League Three North last Saturday.
Cleckheaton faced what one Hull committee member described on arrival, as the Humberside team’s strongest line up of the season.
Despite maintaining good discipline and effort throughout the 80 minutes, Cleckheaton were undone by two opportunist tries, which were well taken by a powerful and fleet of foot Hull XV, giving them a half-time lead that would prove unassailable.
Ronan Evans got Cleckheaton on the board with an early penalty but Hull responded strongly and utilising both backs and forwards, worked their way up field before the visitors’ sizeable South African lock, Stuart Nell, crashed over from close range.
George Fossey converted and the full-back then went on to show his own agility, creating a try out of nothing, when he collected the ball on the half way line and went on a jinking run that left Cleckheaton’s defence flat footed and resulted in Hull’s second try.
Fossey injured himself in the act of scoring, so Tomasi Tanumi took over the kicking duties with the same success.
Cleckheaton then had possession and were trying to bash their way to the edge of their 22, when Nell opportunistically intercepted a lose pass and dived in for his second try. Tanumi added the extras and Hull led 21-3 at half-time.
The second half was a different affair and apart from an early Hull penalty goal from Tanumi, the score remained unchanged until the last 10 minutes.
Cleckheaton had upped the ante and were pressuring Hull more than anytime in the game.
This paid dividends for the Moorenders and culminated in No8, Richard Piper, controlling a five metre scrum with aplomb before gathering and scoring. Evans added the extras.
From the kick off and with the game deep in injury time, Cleckheaton recycled well, kept the ball from going dead and made their way up field.
With the clock running in to five minutes of injury time, Cleckheaton stretched Hull’s defence and Neil Chivers, with a little drop of his shoulder, glided in for Cleckheaton’s second try.
The conversion looked kickable being from more or less the same place as the previous successful attempt and would have given Cleckheaton a well deserved and unexpected bonus point but it was pulled to the left of the uprights and the game ended with Hull winning.
Cleckheaton must put this result behind them as they head into Saturday’s crucial game away to Firwood Waterloo.