A GLANCE at the line-ups suggested a mis-match but everyone emerged reasonably happy from the traditional Boxing Day friendly held this year at Moorend.
Cleckheaton, faced with a four-week break between league fixtures after a postponement nine days earlier, elected to give their first team a blow-out and duly retained the Fred Scott Memorial Trophy.
Brods relied on their second team plus a few guests, including Tom Hanson and Jack Moon who played for them last season, and the visitors emerged with credit after their hosts has threatened to overpower them up front in the early stages.
Cleckheaton had comfortably won the North One East meeting between the clubs on the ground at the end of October – the return fixture is on March 3 – and they picked up where they had left off, dominating the first quarter.
They might have had three or four tries in that time but had to settle for one, credited to Ryan Piercey after a driving maul on 14 minutes, and converted by ex-Halifax stand off Iain Gordon.
Brods were forced to try to open the game out against their older, bigger opponents but handling errors meant they struggled to break out of their half until the second quarter, when there was a hint that they might have had a penalty try, Moon seemingly obstructed as he chased a kick through to the line.
Cleckheaton scored a second converted try on 33 minutes, Lee Queeley’s excellent off-load enabled James Wilson to sprint in.
When Gordon landed an excellent touchline conversion on 52 minutes, after No 8 Richard Piper had forced his way over, the visitors were facing a heavy defeat at 21-0 down.
However, Brods opened their account seven minutes later when Cleckheaton lost the ball inside the visitors’ 22 and Moon and right winger Josh Allen hacked it forward for the latter to touch down near the posts.
The conversion was added by young stand off Tom Booth and the scales started to tip in Brods’ favour when they mounted their first spell of sustained pressure and Allen touched down wide out on 67 minutes to make it 21-12.
However, Piper returned from the sin bin to plunge under the posts for the home side’s fourth converted try in the game’s last action.