RAMPANT Huddersfield ran up their biggest points tally of the season to destroy derby rivals Cleckheaton with a seven-try blitz at Lockwood Park.
This North I game was in doubt until an hour before kick-off because part of the pitch was frozen.
But it thawed just in time – and the promotion- chasing home side turned up the heat further with two tries in the first four minutes.
Kiwi speedster Tim Collins, who was to collect two touchdowns, set up the first in the second minute.
He retrieved a kick and cut through Cleckheaton’s midfield.
Centre James Mortimore took play inside the visitors’ 22, from the where the ball was moved out right and stand-in scrum half Neil Summers – playing for the unavailable Damian Clayton – found Hamish Pratt with an inside pass which left the flanker to stroll over the whitewash.
Chris Johnson added the conversion, and another two minutes later when leading tryscorer Mark Whitehead finished off a Ben Paxman break for his 10th of the season.
Cleckheaton refused to buckle under the onslaught.
And after a short spell of pressure near Huddersfield’s line, lively scrum half Reese Moon ran round the back of a maul to go over and give his team some hope.
But it proved only a brief respite as Huddersfield grabbed their third try on 15 minutes.
Pratt charged away and when the ball was worked to Johnson, he cleverly switched direction and, finding gaps opening up in front of him, went through himself before adding his own conversion.
The fly half landed a well-struck long-range penalty on 27 minutes to put his side 24-5 ahead.
A moment’s indecision by full-back Rob McLaren after a kick through gave Cleckheaton the chance to pull another score back, this time for No8 Lance Hamilton.
With Ross Hayden slotting over a good conversion, Cleck were only 12 points adrift and seemingly still in the game at half-time.
But any thoughts of getting back into the contest were quashed within four minutes of the restart when Collins set up the game’s best try.
Having taken over at full-back for the substituted McLaren (Lee Paxman came into the centre), the New Zealander burst through Cleck’s line and fed on to Mortimore, who in turn found the ever-alert Whitehead on his shoulder.
Nobody was going to stop probably the quickest No7 in North I rugby!
Again Johnson landed the simple conversion and for good measure struck another long-range penalty on 57 minutes to put Huddersfield 34-12 ahead.
Cleck winger Martin Woodhead scored a third try for the visitors when the ball was worked wide out to the right to catch the defence short.
But it was only another blip on the radar as from the restart Johnson took the ball and found himself with space out on the left wing and set off down the touchline.
He shrugged off two tackles and, using Whitehead as a foil, ran all of 65 yards to cross close to the corner for his second try of the game.
It was too far out to continue his 100% conversion rate, however.
With just six minutes remaining, Collins, who had proved a real threat all afternoon with the ball in hand, was given another running chance by Summers and he blasted through Cleckheaton’s by-now dishevelled defence to score near the sticks.
Johnson converted, just as he did when Collins struck again soon after.
Lee Paxman linked with brother Ben, who released Whitehead to provide the final tryscoring pass.
Mark Sowerby’s second-placed side are now really starting to hit the straps, and on this showing they are going to take some beating on their five-game run-in as they chase that play-off berth.
YMCA: McLaren (L Paxman, 41mins);Collins, Mortimore, B Paxman, Shaw; Johnson, Summers; Stringwell (McPhail, 75mins), Davies, Howard, Sharpe, Hinchliff (Rhodes, 58mins), Pratt, Whitehead, Sowerby.
Cleckheaton: Hayden; Lamb, Lauriston, Walker, Woodhead; M Piper, Moon (South, 51mins); Mason, Worsley, Chivers (Lamptey, 57mins), Dudley, Burrows, R Piper, Sarjeant, Hamilton.
Referee: Steve Penfold (South West).