Crocs earn bonus point in heavy defeat

Neil Richardson
Neil Richardson

Northern 40 Old Crossleyans 22

Once again a weakened Old Crossleyans suffered a heavy North One East defeat - this time at the hands of fellow strugglers Northern.

Their performance was good in parts, and they had the welcome boost of picking up a four try bonus point. However, Northern crossed for six tries to secure the win in a game notable for the fact that not a single penalty goal was kicked.

The hosts opened the scoring after five minutes with a try from centre Gregg Littlewood converted by No 10 Donal Collins.

Crocs replied with a try from centre Neil Richardson which scrum half Chris Vine improved.

Northern regrouped and reclaimed the lead with a try from flanker Ed Cawthorne, Collins again on target with the conversion.

Within minutes their lead had stretched out to 21-7 when captain and No 8 James Ellis charged in under the sticks, Collins adding a simple kick.

Crocs continued to battle and from a Neil Richardson touchfinder to 10 metres out, four successive penalty scrums ended with Vine scrambling over. Onfortunately, his conversion attempt was just wide as the visitors trailed 21-12 at the break.

Northern increased their advantage five minutes into the second half when, following a lineout, they spread the ball wide with flanker Thomas McCullogh going over for their fourth score, Collins converting for 28-12.

Once again Crocs showed character and brought the score back to 28-17 when Gareth Ott broke and played in Jack Hammond. He rounded his opponent before feeding Neil Richardson whose quick pass enabled Luke Saltonstall to round the fullback to score in the corner. The conversion attempt fell short.

Seven minutes later Crocs were penalised and Northern found touch 10 metres from the line. The ensuing maul saw substitute Paddy Harper go over with Littlewood adding the kick for 35-17.

Saltonstall crossed for his brace, and Crocs’ bonus point try, following good work from Neil Richardson, Will Travis and full back Ben Greaves, but it was Northern who had the final say with a try from Cawthorne right on full time.