NORTH 1 EAST
PERCY PARK RFC 27 – 19 CLECKHEATON RUFC
Percy Park welcomed Cleckheaton to Preston Ave for the first home league game of the season hoping to improve on their fortunes of the previous week. Park had been unlucky not to come away from Bradford with a losing bonus point whereas Cleck had started well with a home win against Scarborough. Park welcomed back Toby Davison, Ruairi Meharg, Marc Cook, Andy Dunn and Ethan Wilson to the starting line up and handed a debut to young prop Gus Coningham. Evergreen James Ponton was on the bench for Park along with Mark Barry and Jack Peter.
The home side started well in the bright sunshine and with wind advantage kicked off and retain territorial advantage for the first 7 minutes. Park were awarded a penalty for Cleckheaton pulling down a maul and Ash Smith kicked to the corner to set up a catch and drive. Park drove left and then Ash Smith found wing Ross Young in space on the right and with a cross kick the Park wing took advantage of a cruel bounce that foxed his opposite number retrieving the ball and touching down for the first try of the game. Ash Smith’s kick went across the front of the posts.
Park were soon back on the attack and a loose pass was intercepted by the visitors and play was forced all the way back into the Percy Park half. Park were penalised and both captains were asked to speak to their players. Dale Breakwell took advantage of Park’s slowness in regrouping to defend the penalty and his cross-field kick found wing James Wilson on the left flank to score in the corner to level the points 5-5. Breakwell couldn’t add the extras.
Both sides were guilty of giving away penalties and when Cleckheaton were penalised, Ash Smith turned down the easy 3 points and kicked to the corner. From the line out Park retained possession and spun the ball left playing a free ball as the referee played advantage for another penalty and captain Seb Reece crossed the line to double Park’s lead 10-5 on 20 minutes.