Old Crossleyans 35 Malton & Norton 26
The conditions played a major part as Old Crossleyans secured a fine North One East bonus point victory over a Malton & Norton side who played their full part in an entertaining game.
Crocs used the strong wind blowing down the pitch to their advantage to open up a 28-5 lead at the interval. However, the boot was on the other foot in the second half as the visitors added 21 points to their tally with the hosts managing a single converted try.
Crocs were stronger in the forwards but were still forced to re-shuffle the backs.
That did not seem to matter as they grabbed an early lead when great work in the forwards saw the pack power over with captain Ryan Hammond credited with the score. Young full-back Josh Dean kicked a superb conversion from wide out to land the first of his full house of extras.
Lock Kev McGill was then forced off with Raman Sembi coming on to beef up the forwards.
The lead was doubled soon after when James Wainwright intercepted a Malton attack and raced down the touchline.
Although he was caught 15 metres out, the thrust was maintained and new flanker Ollie Coyne was pushed over for the try with Dean landing another kick from close to the sideline.
Crocs continued to plough the hard yards and made it 21-0 after 17 minutes. Coyne’s good run fed Billy Hammond who passed on to Wainwright and his run and neat grubber kick rolled along the line for opposite wing Joe Baker to beat the cover and touch down, Dean adding the two.
Malton did well to create attacks of their own with Chris Seymour and Coyne working hard to keep them at bay.
However, it was the hosts who added to their tally when they marched towards the Malton line on the back of penalties and the pack, further boosted by the arrival of Boj Sembi, produced a massive push which saw Malton kill the ball and concede a penalty try under the posts which Dean easily converted.
Malton did overcome the elements and stern defence just ahead of the interval when Ben Woodhouse cut through to the side of the posts. However, Charlie Ramsay’s conversion attempt failed when the ball rolled over in the wind as he was about to kick and Baker pounced on it first.
Crocs soon found the weather against them after the break as they were forced on the defensive.
From a bad lineout throw Malton mauled towards the home line. Despite strong defence the persistance was rewarded with Woodhouse going over for his second try, converted by Ramsay for 28-12.
Billy Hammond showed his versatility with strong work in both defence and attack and he added a welcome score after 65 minutes, Seymour popping out a pass for his teammate to go over with Dean converting. Malton continued to test the home defence with Richard Wheale preventing an almost certain try under the posts.
However, the North Yorkshire side went over again when, following a lineout, they were camped on the home line. The defence finally collapsed and Ali Coe went over, Ramsay converting for 35-19.
There was still more to come as further pressure from Malton brought another seven points with prop Paul Dobson diving over for the bonus point try, Ramsay adding the final conversion.