Wed 24 Apr 2024
Goole RUFC
Tries: J Chantry, A NealConversions: T HoltPenalties: T Holt
Heavy Hitting Win Against Cleckheaton

Heavy Hitting Win Against Cleckheaton

Goole RUFC25 Apr - 14:36
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Goole Progress to the Yorkshire Cup Final

Goole revived distant memories for many of their older members with an epic evening Cup game against Regional 1 North East side Cleckheaton, for a place in the Yorkshire Cup Final. Kicking off with the breeze and evening sun at their backs, Cleckheaton applied early pressure as Goole struggled to contain their powerful ball carriers with play almost entirely in the Goole half. With Goole also conceding penalties and missing touch with clearance kicks, they were finding it a difficult to get any respite from the Cleckheaton assaults as they ran the ball back at pace or kicked to the corners as Goole’s lineout also came under pressure. Yet despite the threat, the defensive line held firm with two early turnovers almost on their own line providing them with brief respite. Connor Walker and Jack Smith being key players in the defence. It was from a penalty kicked to the corner by Cleck that finally got them on the scoreboard, with guaranteed ball from the line out being moved infield for their heavy-duty centre to crash through the defensive line at pace to go under the posts for a converted try. 0 – 7 after eleven minutes of intense pressure. From the restart Cleckheaton had the earlier edge in the scrum to press forward and be awarded a penalty that was once again kicked to the corner. With the lineout won and a driving maul set up, Cleck were disappointed as Goole stole the ball for the third time and kick clear, but once again missed touch. One long pass infield to the stationary Cleck fullback giving him plenty of time to set himself up to kick a well struck drop goal from 35m to extend the Cleckheaton lead to 0 – 10 mid-way through the first half.
Goole could have conceded from yet another Cleck forward drive to within 5m of their try line but stole the ball in contact for the fourth time to allow them to clear and finally get possession inside the Cleckheaton half. Strong carries from forwards and backs getting them into a good position and force Cleck to defend their own territory. With Walton and Newsum working tirelessly, they were well supported as Goole began to play with ability and confidence, driving hard into the heavier Cleckheaton defenders going through numerous phases of play. A number of half breaks in midfield getting Goole inside the Cleck 22 for the first time in the match as Jack Smith picked up at the breakdown to power his way towards the line before offloading out of the back door to the supporting James Chantry to go over for the seven points try under the posts, converted by Tom Holt. 7 – 10 and Goole now well and truly in the match. With Chantry gaining possession from the restart, Goole once again worked their way into the Cleck half of the field to win a late tackle penalty that Holt converted to draw Goole level at 10 – 10. The remaining eight minutes of the half was an almost re-run of the opening spell but with the roles reversed as Goole retained possession and forced Cleck into poor kicks either directly into touch or missing touch. With Goole now dominating possession it was Cleckheaton that looked forward to the half time whistle as the hard tackling from both teams cancelled each other out leaving the game well balanced at 10 – 10. HT
The bone-shuddering tackling and heavyweight exchanges continued into the second half with Chantry in particular, being an early thorn in the Cleckheaton team’s side. The scrums were just about even with Lamb and Wileman now in the fray, but the lineouts were being won hands down by Cleck, providing them with quality possession. Keeping the ball in play was certainly Goole’s best tactic as they relentlessly tackled the Cleckheaton ball carriers and drove forward when in possession. After 12 minutes of play Jack Smith once again ripped the ball from the Cleck ball carrier to allow Goole to threaten the Cleck line and win a penalty 10m from the try line that also resulted in a yellow card for the defender. With no guarantee of line out success, Moore opted for a scrum rather than kick at goal with his decision being vindicated when Raynor got possession from the scrappy 5m scrum for Lamb, and Newsum to pass the ball wide for Ashton Neal to go over for a try. Tom Holt’s excellent conversion giving Goole a deserved 17 – 10 lead.
To Cleck’s credit they came back with a vengeance with a prolonged spell of possession that tested the home team tacklers to their limit. There were however no weaknesses in the Goole defence as every man stood his ground and tackled Cleck ball carriers with commitment, discipline, and skill. Cleck were finally rewarded with a penalty that was kicked to the corner for a 5m line out with the guaranteed quality possession allowing them to set up a successful driving maul that resulted in a try out wide. The conversion was narrowly missed leaving Goole with a two-point lead going in to the final nine minutes of the match, 17 - 15. At the restart the ball was kicked long allowing Cleck to clear to touch just past halfway and with Goole’s malfunctioning lineout this was a key lineout as possession to Cleck would have got them back on the attack with their tails up. Thankfully, a quality catch by Newsum got Goole the possession they needed to drive Cleck back into their own half with the game being brought to an extended halt due to an injury to Newsum after yet another thundering collision but seeing him walk off after treatment was a relief to all those watching. At the restart, Goole were tackled into touch and got the break they needed as the Cleck lineout was penalised giving Goole possession from the resulting scrum. Raynor was making significant contributions at number 8 as Goole were awarded a penalty at the breakdown that gave them the opportunity to wind the clock down by kicking for a line out 10m from the Cleck line. Disappointingly the line out was once again unsuccessful allowing Cleck to clear to halfway and another lineout, at which Goole were penalised and then conceding a penalty for offside at the scrum some 10m inside the Cleck half. A long searching kick deep into Goole territory is what Cleck needed but to the relief of the home team supporters the ball went into touch just inside the Goole half leaving Cleck a long way to go for their required score. They then managed just four phases before a loose pass gave Goole possession that they retained until Moore kick the ball into touch to bring this bone-crunching game to an end. The final score of 17 – 15 winning Goole a place at the Yorkshire Cup Final on the 18th May 2024 at Castle Park the home of Doncaster Knights.
In summary this was a hard competitive game of rugby between two committed teams with Goole’s fitness having the edge in the closing minutes. Couple that with the high skill level on display, this performance will certainly be recognised as one of the hardest fought victories and best overall team performances that has been played at Westfield Banks. Whether or not it would have matched the great performances of the previous 1956 Yorkshire Cup and 1930’s Shield winning teams is open to debate, but it was, without doubt one of the best in recent years.

Match details

Match date

Wed 24 Apr 2024




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