Hull were given a very hard game in this Yorkshire derby before they went on to defeat Cleckheaton for the third time this season. Three pushover tries in the first 14 minutes saw Cleckheaton leading 12-5 as hooker Mark Chivers scored twice for Cleck and Mike Jobling for Hull. Ronan Evans landed one conversion for the visitors.
Hull then began to hit their stride and in the 17th minute winger Steve Hihetah made a 40-metre break down the middle to score under the posts which Lee Birch converted and just before half-time full-back Birch scored in the left corner following flowing handling after Hull had won a 5-metre scrum on the right flank. Cleck infringed a minute later and Birch landed the penalty goal for a 20-12 half time lead.
Hull went further ahead in the 46th minute when skipper Tom Price crashed over in the left corner following a slick blind side move from a line-out. Cleck hit back well and seven minutes later a good cross field move was finished off by full-back James Wilson to make it 25-17.
Hull’s extra pace and skill gradually took its toll on a hard-working Cleck defence as they scored three further tries from prop Steve Quigley (67 mins) after picking up from a line-out to dive over, scrum-half Harvey Harding (70 mins) who scampered over following a scrum near the line, and in the fourth minute of added time another fine cross-field move saw Birch score his second try in the right corner which was superbly converted by himself from the touchline. A strong feature of the second half was the elusive running of Lee Birch whose weaving runs through the middle caused Cleck many problems which they found hard to contain. Lock Kiran McDonald also made some telling breaks for Hull.
In between and in the second minute of added time Cleckheaton gained a richly deserved losing bonus point when No8 Richard Piper scored a very good try in the right corner after some heavy pressure by the visitors. This included a scrum, a penalty, followed by a line-out and finally the try, to cap off a spirited display from the whole of the Cleckheaton side whose enthusiasm never wavered.