Old Crossleyans showed they are determined not to go down from Yorkshire One without a fight after an unexpected 33-17 home victory over fourth-placed Hullensians yesterday.
The only disappointment was that they didn’t manage a four-try bonus point, but they closed the gap on third-from-bottom Selby to one point. Selby lost 38-7 at home to Bridlington.
The Broomfield men’s hopes now rest of them picking up points from games away to York and at home to Old Brodleians on the next two Saturdays.
Long-serving forwards Richard Wheale and Kev McGill and fullback Chris Vine provided the go-forward for probably Crocs’ best home performance of the season.
There was also an excellent display from left winger Ryan Sweeney with a try and some typically fine kicking.
Sweeney was on target with a penalty after three minutes but the signs looked ominous for Crocs when flanker JJ Burrell finished off a Hullensians move from their own territory and fullback Will Simpson added the conversion and a penalty.
Crocs spurned the chance of three points in favour of a kick to the corner and mauled the ball to the try line but could not cross it.
However, they drew level after 20 minutes when they got the ball wide to Sweeney, who kicked inside and the ball bounced kindly for him to regather and touch down. Sweeney added the goal and then a penalty to make it 13-10 after 25 minutes.
Hullensians applied intense pressure via their scrum and Crocs lost hooker Declan Hampson and No 8 James Wainwright to the sin-bin in quick succession.
Crocs were saved by a scrum penalty in their favour and they cleared to touch. Hullensians then had a player yellow carded for back chat.
The hosts got a boost right at the end of the half when centre Zane Sanders made a half-break and found Vine in support. The captain side-stepped the fullback and bounced off other retreating defenders to score under the posts. Sweeney’s kick made it 20-10 at the break.
Crocs were on the back foot for a long spell and were only back to 15 players for a short while, Jack Hammond getting yellow carded for a high tackle
Sweeney helped clear the danger for Crocs and put his side 26-10 up entering the final quarter with a couple of penalties.
Tempers frayed but no more cards were forthcoming and home locks McGill and Raman Sembi then picked up knocks.
Hullensians took advantage of poor tackling and an overlap to score through centre Don Bloomfield, Simpson’s kick making it 26-17.
However, Wheale crowned a fine day for Crocs with a try in the corner following a fine run from the battling McGill, Sweeney converting.