Old Crossleyans were unable to prevent Yorkshire One leaders Old Brodleians from securing a sixth-straight victory in a keenly contested local derby.
Brods triumphed 25-10 at Broomfield, building on a modest 8-3 lead at the break following a tenacious defensive performance from the home team.
The second half saw Crocs pose much more of a threat with ball in hand, but the fact they were limited to only one try was indicative of the Brods’ excellent defence.
Crocs will be disappointed that they struggled in the set piece, with the lineout misfiring throughout the match, as well as coming under pressure at the scrum.
For the home side, Billy Hammond and Chris Dyson returned from injury, Chris Vine started at scrum half and Tom Metcalfe, Ben Hinsley and Gareth Sweeney took their places in the starting XV.
Brods took the lead after 10 minutes. Awarded a penalty, they kicked to the corner and secured lineout ball. Crocs were subsequently penalised for collapsing a driving maul and Brods’ controlled scrum resulted in Rob Jennings scoring the first of his brace of tries.
Brods began to take control, dictating the pattern of play, but they were not converting their pressure into points and Callum Dunne’s penalty midway through the half, awarded for a high tackle, cut their lead to 5-3.
With Crocs struggling to secure lineout ball, the visitors were able to set up further attacking platforms deep in opposition territory.
When Crocs were penalised for not rolling away at the tackle, Phil Town’s successful kick edged the lead out to 8-3.
Very much in the ascendancy, Brods controlled the remaining minutes of the half but resolute Crocs’ defence prevented other scoring opportunities.
Crocs went on the attack after the interval. Billy Hammond, playing at No. 8, stormed into the opposition half and Crocs began to control the ball, building the phases but the Brods’ defence was impressive and they forced a penalty at the breakdown to relieve the pressure.
The visitors then extended their lead 10 minutes into the half. Crocs’ defence switched off and Jennings needed no invitation to stroll through a static defensive line to touch down under the posts. The conversion gave Brods a 15-3 lead.
Midway through the half, Brods had a man yellow carded for a high tackle and Crocs sensed a way back into the game. Jack Hammond surged through the midfield cover and a series of controlled pick and go drives was held up on the line. From the scrum, Jack Hammond ran onto a crash ball and forced his way over the line, with Callum Dunne’s conversion reducing the lead to 15-10.
Crocs were then caught offside and a further Town penalty stretched Brods’ lead out to an eight-point margin.
Undaunted, Crocs went on the attack again with Joel Lemmink breaching the defensive cover but, unfortunately, the support was not there to continue the move.
Nick Faulkner then broke down the blind side to take play deep into Brods’ territory but when the ball was fired along the back line another knock on prevented a potential scoring chance.
With the game deep in stoppage time, Crocs ran the ball from deep inside their half only for it to be intercepted, resulting in Town touching down under the posts. The formality of the conversion was followed by the referee’s whistle for full time.