Sandal’s pack proves too strong as Akroyd stays cool for Cleckheaton

Sandal extended their winning streak with a 23-17 win over fellow high-flyers Sheffield Tigers.

Scrum-half Joe Bedford gave them the perfect start with a third-minute try but the Tigers hit back with tries from Peter Swatkin and Jon Buchanan.

Sandal’s pack then took charge, lock James Priscoe twice emerging with the ball as they pushed the visitors back over their own line. The second half was a tight affair with neither side able to breach their opponent’s defence and they had only an exchange of penalties to show for their efforts.

Morley dropped points at Westoe after twice putting themselves in a good position only to allow the home side to claim a 20-20 draw.

Winger Andy Funnell and centre Bradley Marshall gave the Maroons the perfect start with tries only for the home side to hit back and lead 15-12 at the break.

Dante van der Merwe touched down and landed a penalty to again put Morley in front but once again they allowed Westoe to claw their way back.

Huddersfield YMCA conceded 26 points in the first half at Firwood Waterloo and though they produced a much better display after the break, running in four tries for a bonus point, they still went down 47-27.

Cleckheaton came back from a 22-0 deficit just before the interval to record a most unlikely but well-deserved 27-25 victory at Wirrall.

Unsettled by late withdrawals and illness the visitors appeared lethargic from the outset and gave Wirral acres of space to run in three tries, two of which were converted, and a penalty.

The comeback began in the 32nd minute when the Cleckheaton pack secured possession just on the Wirral 22; the tried and tested rolling maul was set in motion and Richard Piper was awarded the try. Oliver Akroyd converted from the touchline.

Set-piece possession which had been hard to secure in the first half was now used to gain field position deep in Wirral territory. Tries from youngster Cameron Burnhill, making his debut in the first XV, Danny Vento and Ben Thrower – one of which was converted by Akroyd – gave the visitors the lead with 10 minutes to go. Wirral hit back with a penalty but it was the cool head of Akroyd who secured the victory with a penalty.

Beverley conceded a penalty in the dying minutes to lose 20-17 to Lymm. Beverley led with a try by centre Ian Morrison and converted by Phil Duboulay.

The Cheshire visitors led 10-7 before a Duboulay scored 10 points from a penalty and then a conversion to his own solo try.

But Cormack Nolan had the last word with a penalty at the death to win it for Lymm.