YORK RUFC beat Cleckheaton 49-29 at Clifton Park to stay in touch with the leading pack in North One East.

The opening period of the game was high quality with both teams enjoying their share of possession and territorial superiority, but the hosts scored first.

Toby Atkin, still in his own half, took a half-gap between two defenders and released Sam Elliot in space on the wing. Elliot kicked the ball over his opposing winger and collected fluently before running in to score a delightful try. Cusack kicked the conversion.

After Oscar Bell carried the ball 15 metres to set up York attacking ball, Cleckheaton found themselves short of defenders on the blind-side of a ruck. Atkin exploited this, passing to Rob Hodges who ran in to score.

Cusack kicked a lovely conversion from the touch line to double the York lead.

York pressurised the Cleckheaton scrummage and turned one over against the head. George Davies, playing at outside-centre, passed to Liam Hessay on a deep pacey line from full-back. Hessay released Elliot at pace who passed on his inside to Freddie Smith.

York nearly went 60 metres to score but Cleck forced a turnover and Breakwell cleared. Ross White broke a tackle and ran-in for York very soon after though. The conversion was good again by Cusack.

York’s bonus-point try followed shortly after. Shane Goulding at number eight broke from the back of a midfield scrum, he released Elliot outside him who superbly timed his pass to Atkin in support to allow him to score. Cusack converted.

Cleckheaton responded and showed what they can achieve in attack given the opportunity. They won a penalty and set up a driving maul from a lineout that was secure all afternoon. Hooker Ben Thrower pressed the ball over the line and Dale Breakwell kicked the extras.

After a York infringement, Breakwell added three points to the visitors' total from a straight 40 metres.

York re-established a healthy lead before half-time though. With Cleck centre Olly Depledge injured, the York backs linked accurately and in space with Hodges finishing the move off to get his second try of the game.

Cusack’s conversion was again good to make it 35-10 at half-time.

At the start of the second half, Cusack was yellow-carded after there was a deliberate knock-down with the visitors looking to score in the corner. No penalty try was awarded but Cleckheaton second-row Josh Plunkett drove over and Breakwell slotted the kick.

Cleck then set up another driving maul twenty-five metres from the York line and Ryan Piercy got the try, Breakwell again converting.

Cleckheaton’s try bonus point bought them within a single score as scrum-half Tom Breakwell finished off a move that had runners in plenty of space.

York were able to secure the victory in the final quarter as Hodges got his hat-trick try after some slick handling from all of the numbers, before Goulding stormed over the line from 20 out. Cusack got both conversions.

A late score denied Malton & Norton a second bonus point from their 45-31 defeat at Driffield in North One East.

The visitors scored on 80 minutes to close to 38-31 and two points appeared to be in the bag, but Driffield claimed a converted try with less than a minute of stoppage time remaining.

Matt Bowman and Sam Triffit scored two tries apiece to add to one from Tom Foan, while Paul Angus added three conversions.

Meanwhile, Pocklington lost 44-30 at third-placed Morley in North One East, and Selby went down 39-17 at Keighley in Yorkshire One.

York RI were handed a walkover victory against Stanley Rodillians in Yorkshire Four South East, while Nestle Rowntree lost 48-22 at Stocksbridge in the same division.