Old Crossleyans lost narrowly for the third North East One game in a row, Jack Fletcher’s 72nd minute penalty for visitors Pocklington condemning them to an 11-10 defeat yesterday.
Both teams wore Crocs colours, the visitors wearing the hosts club’s predominantly white shirts having forgotten their own first team kit.
The Broomfield men had a strong side to face a team just above them in the table with Chris Seymour at No 12 in place of concussion victim Neil Richardson.
Both sides played hard rugby, tackling well and keeping it tight in windy conditions.
Chris Vine’s wind-assisted penalty from 40 metres hit a post as Crocs exerted early pressure.
Former skipper James Wainwright was prominent in launching a couple of attacks while Joe Baker was tackled just short of the try line after a run down the left.
Crocs maintained the pressure and were rewarded on 21 minutes when Jack Hammond and Seymour made ground down the middle and No 8 Ryan Hammond took two men over the try line with him. Vine’s kick made it 7-0.
The lead was deserved but both sides were making errors with the ball in hand.
Fletcher pulled back three points with a straight penalty from the 22 on 31 minutes.
Crocs missed a chance for a second try late in the half when Jack Hammond made a half-break and fed brother Billy, whose hasty pass from near the try line fell short of Richard Wheale.
Crocs were forced to defend after the break, tackling well for a while, but visiting centre Joe Holborough crashed over the try line in the corner on 48 minutes. The conversion attempt fell short but Pocklington led 8-7.
Jack Hammond broke following a scrum with Vine in support but he flipped the ball backwards and it didn’t go to hand.
Wheale and Ryan Hammond set up the next attack and concerted pressure led to Pocklington killing the ball. Vine’s penalty made it 10-8 on 65 minutes.
A Wainwright break was supported by Billy Hammond who fended off five tacklers but Vine was unable to take Gareth Ott’s pass.
Play was between the 22 metres lines, with one side and then the other in possession, but the decisive moment came when the referee spoke to Ryan Hammond and Andy Day and Fletcher kicked the penalty.
Crocs tried to run the ball out of defence but Pocklington held firm and widened the gap between the teams to seven points.