Crocs get off to winning start

Ryan Hammond
Ryan Hammond

Old Crossleyans 26 Huddersfield YMCA 11

Crocs made a great start to their North One East campaign with a bonus point victory over newly-promoted local rivals Huddersfield YMCA.

A little bit of history was made at Broomfield with Nikki O’Donnell becoming the first female to referee an Old Crossleyans first team fixture.

YM’s reputation for fast backs did not hold true as their physical style foundered against a well-drilled defence. By contrast YM’s defence had no answers to the home side’s fast, open passing game.

Scrum half Chris Vine missed a penalty after five minutes and soon after YM wing Gavin Stead opened his side’s account with a penalty from the touchline.

The lead was doubled on the half hour when Chris Jones was penalised, Stead again doing the honours.

Play remained fairly even before Crocs’s pace paved the way for the first score, Gareth Ott’s long ball giving captain Ryan Hammond space to cut inside and score near the posts for Vine to convert.

Vine was targeted by YM’s forwards resulting in their No 8 being yellow-carded. The referee went on to penalise the visitors three times from the resulting penalty but failed to give a penalty try as the half ended 7-6 in Crocs’s favour.

Crocs made the early running in the second half, James Wainwright stopped by a high tackle, before Vine tapped a penalty and found Ott whose inside pass sent Neil Richardson away, Vine converting for 14-6.

Rory Davis then suffered a heavy hit as he charged upfield, the referee adjudging the YM winger to have stamped on the Crocs player which resulted in a red card.

From the resulting penalty scrum Ryan Hammond exploited the empty space wide out before passing to Wainwright who had a simple job of scoring the try, Vine adding an excellent touchline conversion for 21-6.

Fast inter-passing by the Crocs backs mesmerised the visiting defence and Billy Hammond went over on 70 minutes to secure the bonus point at 26-6.

The penalty count continued to stack up against Crocs and with five minutes left Jones was yellow-carded to even the numbers up.

YM then had the final say with James Bell forcing his way over to complete the scoring.