Scunthorpe ended their league campaign with a resounding victory over West Yorkshire rivals Cleckheaton. With the development team trouncing Lincoln in the Lincs Cup the week before with over a dozen U21 players and several academy players on show at fortress Heslam prospects are looking good for the future of the club.

Scunthorpe got off to a great start with some good all-round play but fair play to Cleckheaton, they took the pressure and came back in their own right with a well taken try after ten minutes. Scunthorpe slipped into old habits and gave away too many penalties. This allowed ‘Cleck’ to make progress into the home side half and subsequently the 22. They kept possession and worked the defence hard such that it eventually succumbed to a well taken try from flanker Brad Marsden. Fly half Dale Breakwell collected the extra two. 0-7. Five minutes later Scunthorpe were level with a try from influential scrum half Joey Mowbray. Scunthorpe had a scrum and the Forces prop and man of the match Dylan Martin, home on leave, made a massive impact in the front row. The ball was moved rapidly along the backs giving protegee Lewis Talbot room to show his pace and he did so in style. The young Colt scorched down the wing and deserved to score himself. However the Greens kept their patience, the ball was recycled allowing Mowbray to crash over. Will Robinson converted the try and it was all square at 7-7. Both sides were looking lively with Cleck’s big forwards making inroads – however could they keep it up for the full eighty? After twenty-five minutes Scunthorpe scored again, this time it was the talismanic skipper Grant Elliot who claimed the touchdown. Ethan Taylor was in great kicking form from fly half and since his return from his sabbatical in South Yorkshire he has impressed in that key role. With the wind in his favour, he hoofed a ball from a penalty 25m from his own line, it bounced inside the defending 22 and carried on into touch for Scunthorpe to get the lineout 10 metres out. The ball was recycled and the forwards attacked the defence with gusto, Cleckheaton had to commit a foul to stem the tide. The Bridlington was unleashed, and Elliot got the five-pointer. Robinson missed the extra two, 12-7. Tim Robinson’s men then went through a purple patch getting the wrong side of a fussy match official and giving away too many penalties. However, they kept the scoreboard steady and went into half time with a slender lead.

Both sides started the second half in a nervously, Cleckheaton’s big forwards were beginning to tire, and the referee had some issues managing the breakdown so the game saw both sides exchanging penalties. From one such penalty on 65 minutes Cleckheaton got within two points with a three-pointer. With ten minutes left to play the result could still have gone either way but the younger and fitter Green Giants began to show why they are such a great prospect. Scunthorpe scored an exquisite try which delighted the crowd. From another solid scrum deep in the home half the ball was moved neatly, with a run around Jack Murr received the ball and burst through a gap he raced 40m and without panicking he assessed his options. His fellow centre Will Robinson was on his right shoulder and the young player showed great poise as he timed his pass to perfection, Robinson had the pace to finish the move and score under the posts. He converted the extra two himself 19-10. Scunthorpe were now on fire, and one wished that there were another twenty minutes to play as the Greens ran amok with free-flowing rugby and crucially not conceding any penalties. Cleckheaton were on the ropes and the bumper crowd saw a great team try claimed by Nick Dyson. The final result of 24-10 saw a convincing victory. The league position of 7th looked very comfortable compared to the January slot of bottom. This has been an exceptional second half to the season and with the Papa John Cup in action next week Scunthorpe can take this good form into that competition with a lot of confidence. The first cup game is against Leek from NW 1 at Heslam Park with 3pm kick off.