Crocs fail to shine at Northern

Chris Vine
Chris Vine

Northern 30 Old Crossleyans 12

Old Crossleyans suffered a fifth consecutive defeat following a disappointing afternoon at Northern in North East One.

Crocs were without Chris Jones for family reasons and also lost midfield general Gareth Ott to work commitments.

In an all-action start, Northern were awarded a penalty after the visitors were found guilty of holding on and Donal Collins kicked his side ahead.

Two minutes later the hosts made touch on the away 22 and a successful catch and drive from the lineout saw No8 Pat Power force his way over with Collins landing a touchline conversion for 10-0.

The contest was still less than 10 minutes old when Crocs responded. Scrum half Will Travis fed Neil Richardson, replacing Ott at fly half and playing his final game before undergoing a hernia operation, and he released scrum half Chris Vine out wide who raced in and then added the conversion for 10-7.

The fireworks of the opening period gave way to a lull in proceedings and it was half an hour before Vine was just short with a penalty attempt after which he was off target again following an incident which forced Ryan Hammond off with a thigh injury, Boj Sembi coming on in his place.

Trailing 10-7, Crocs were looking to get the second half off on a positive footing but instead they fell further behind with Collins adding a penalty for 13-7 after 46 minutes.

Crocs then lost lock Chris Wood to injury, Kev McGill coming on, and he was soon into the action making hard yards from flanker James Wainwright’s pass but the ball was lost in contact. A similar fate befell forward Richard Wheale who was unable to capitalise on Jack Hammond’s good work, the ball going to ground.

Collins made Crocs pay by landing another penalty for 16-7 before Crocs were rewarded for their workrate when another good lineout produced a catch and drive 15 metres out which saw James Wainwright touch down, Vine’s conversion drifting wide.

Crocs were back in the contest at 16-12 but straight from the restart two players missed the chance to gather a rolling ball and home scrum half Hamer nipped in to touch down, Collins adding the two.

The deflated Crocs then lost a ruck on halfway and the home side spread the ball wide for wing Fawcett to curve around the defence with Collins adding an excellent final conversion.