IT is several years since Old Crossleyans last put out a junior side and the Broomfield club was delighted with the performance of their under 12s at the recent Old Brodleians festival.
The Crocs drew all their three games, but failed to progress from their group in a high-quality tournament which drew teams from as far away as Sheffield and Scunthorpe.
A bigger Keighley side provided the first opposition and they took an early lead against a nervous-looking Crocs side which spent the majority of the first half defending.
It all changed in the second half, however, and they were rewarded for some fantastic rugby with a try mid-way through the second half by Ben Sutcliffe after excellent work by forwards Mackenzie Bradley and Lucas Nothard.
Fine play from Matthew Shaw nearly earned Crocs a winner but a draw was a fair result.
Against Scunthorpe, a size difference was easy to see with some large boys in the Scunthorpe pack. Crocs started the brighter with backs Jude Corcos and James Crabtree showing excellent skills in breaking the line, leading to Corcos crashing over from short range.
From the restart Max Balfour carried the ball up field and Crocs’ back showed excellent skills to handle all the way down the line, resulting in George Standing crashing over in the corner for arguably the try of the tournament.
The size of the Scunthorpe pack showed in the second half with two tries for their giant second row.
The final game was against a Sheffield team that had only played one game and won easily against Keighley. When they scored early on they must have been expecting a similar result.
However, Crocs rallied and excellent work in the loose by Rory Lockett and Ben Brearley giving an opportunity to Oliver Wilson, who broke two tackles but just fell short of the line, Sutcliffe, however, was there on hand to pick up and score his second of the tournament.
The second half was played out in the opposition 22 and storming runs from Reece Anderson twice took him close but Crocs were unable to get a winning score.
Progression to the finals depended on Scunthorpe beating Keighley. However, Keighley – with one only point - ran in five unanswered tries. That left Sheffield, Scunthorpe and Keighley all tied at the top of the group with four points and Crocs on three.
Although the chance to win some silverware had gone, it was a fantastic day and there are hopes that the team will play together more regular next season.