Ilkley 21 Old Crossleyans 13
Old Crocs can count themselves unlucky not to earn at least a bonus point from a hard-fought North One East clash at fourth-placed Ilkley.
They were still in the game at 14-13 before the referee awarded the home side a penalty try after Crocs infringed at a five metre scrum, and the resulting lineout saw Ilkley pull out a winning advantage.
Crocs welcomed back hand injury victim Chris Vine and back row Manny Riaz following a long lay off with a broken arm.
Vine made his presence felt early on as he kicked two penalties to open up a 6-0 advantage after just eight minutes.
Riaz had two spells on the pitch, the first finishing early after he sustained an eye injury folowing a big hit on the home hooker. He returned later on but was forced off again in the second half after scoring Crocs’ only try.
A long spell of end to end rugby was ended when Ilkley pushed Crocs off a scrum and Paul Petchie crossed near the posts for fly half Josh Kimber to convert for a 7-6 lead.
Crocs put pressure on the home side but were unable to find a way to the line. Ilkley also looked dangerous on the break leading up to the interval.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first. The Crocs defence held until the 57th minute when, following a missed touchfinder, the Ilkley backs fed Patchie who ran through unopposed, Kimber adding the conversion for 14-6.
Vine was just off target with a penalty on the hour after which Riaz brought the score back to within a point.
Scrum half Will Travis made a big break which was taken on by Vine.
The ball was fed to Luke Gardiner and then Chris Seymour took over, and his flipped pass brought in Riaz who powered over under the posts for Vine to convert.
Riaz then won a penalty but again Vine missed the chance to edge Crocs ahead as his kick sailed narrowly wide.
Ilkley sealed the game when a close in lineout led to Ben Greaves being tackled over his own line.
Crocs were then deemed guilty of wheeling and pulling down the five metre scrum and the referee awarded a penaltry try which Kimber duly converted.