Old Crossleyans lost out 32-15 at Scarborough on a wet afternoon in Yorkshire One.
Crocs are still seeking their first away win, but many positives were to be drawn from this performance, their best on the road this season.
They controlled possession and territory over long periods, but Scarborough’s bonus point victory was built on good support play, astute kicking and crucial lapses in concentration by the visitors’ defence.
The home side took the lead after two minutes, back row Isaac Faamu brushing off defenders for Drew Grovier to score.
Crocs responded when half back Will Travis broke free, but two penalties awarded around the 15 minute mark were missed by Ryan Sweeney.
Crocs were punished when Scarborough stretched their lead through prop Wesley Langkilde touching down, the conversion making it 12-0.
Encouragingly, Crocs’ reply was immediate, Luke Saltonstall making a break and patient recycling caught Scarborough offside for Sweeney to slot over the penalty.
Sweeney added another penalty soon after to make it 12-6 before a 20 metre rolling maul drew another penalty, Sweeney’s third game cutting the arrears to 12-9.
Scarborough replied with a penalty and crucially added a try just before the break after scrum half Jordan Wigham’s quick tap, making it 20-9 at the break.
Scarborough started the second half strongly, but Crocs gained a foothold and looked threatening only for the ball to go loose.
But their tenacity was rewarded on 52 minutes when Sweeney kicked another penalty and added a fifth midway through the half to leave Crocs trailing 20-15 to leave the game in the balance.
But the hosts responded with Faamu setting up another try for Tom Ratcliffe, the conversion stretching their lead to 27-15.
Sweeney intercepted, but lacked support and was run down on half way.
The momentum was now with ‘Boro who completed the scoring when a well-judged kick allowed Thomasz Chadwick to touch down.
To their credit, Crocs continued to press in the final 10 minutes but were unable to grab a try which would have rewarded their tenacity and resilience.