Horden 39 Old Crossleyans 22
Old Crossleyans look certain be playing Yorkshire One rugby next season after defeat in the north-east
The home side proved the stronger throughout as they belied their position at the foot of the table to ensure Crocs’ search for an away win this season continued.
The Horden pack has a reputation for running out of steam. However, on this occasion they remained solid and it was the lighter, under-strength visitors who were made to suffer.
An all-action start saw Horden, playing against the wind in the first half, establish a 12-0 lead. Stand-off David Heckles went over in the corner with full back Craig Jones, who enjoyed a 100 per cent success rate with the boot in difficult conditions, landing the conversion.
Seven minutes later Jones himself crossed and converted as the hosts built a healthy advantage.
Crocs hauled themselves back into the contest with a trademark Gareth Ott try, scrum half Chris Vine adding the extras for 12-7.
Jones added a converted score then kicked a penalty as Horden opened up a 22-7 lead after 18 minutes.
The visitors hit back again when they spread the ball wide and wing James Wainwright crossed in the corner, Vine’s conversion was carried off target.
Wainwright was injured in the process of scoring meaning Chris Seymour was moved out wide with Jonathan McCormack coming into the pack.
Jones continued his one-man crusade as he slotted over another penalty to make it 25-12 to the home side at the break.
It got even worse for Crocs early in the second half when their scrum collapsed under pressure. The penalty was tapped by Taz Pelser who crossed for Jones to convert.
Although struggling, Crocs did attempt to play an open, passing game but struggled for meaningful possession while the handling was often suspect.
James Cooper and Kev McGill came on for Matthew Schofield and Any Day respectively as the visitors changed things around. However, they slipped further behind when quick hands allowed Pelser to go over for his second try, Jones’ conversion making it 39-12 after 65 minutes.
Crocs showed plenty of spirit through lock Luke Gardiner and captain Jack Hammond, and a smart move brought full back Ben Greaves a try in the corner, Vine’s kick again off target.
From the restart Crocs kept the ball in hand, eventually progressing to the home line where a ball out wide saw Greaves secure a repeat try to complete the scoring and earn a four try bonus point.