Late points spree downs Crocs

Under-strength Old Crossleyans found Beverley too much to handle as the Broomfield men opened their North One East campaign with a 45-15 defeat.

The East Yorkshire side proved a big, strong and fast unit, while Crocs found themselves fielding a severely weakened pack through a couple of retirements and injuries.

Neverthless, the home side showed a willingness to put their bodies on the line in defence and it was harsh on them that they conceded 21 points in the final 13 minutes.

It could have been a different story if Ed Cockroft had not missed a straightforward penalty attempt early on after which wing Leigh Thomas was held short. He managed to flip a pass out for new full back Gareth Sweeney who dropped the ball over the line.

Beverley made the most of the let off to take the lead when centre and captain Tupai broke before finding winger Birch who crossed at the posts, faultless fly half Duboulay kicking his first points.

Crocs showed character and Cockroft’s 30 metre penalty just crept over the crossbar to reduce the arrears at 7-3.

Duboulay responded in kind and Beverley’s aggressive attacking policy paid off again when Birch went over for his second try, Duboulay converting to open up a 17-3 lead after 36 minutes.

The visitors looked to add to their tally but a dropped ball allowed Cockroft to kick on soccer style, finally dropping on the ball over the line with Birch hanging onto his collar. Cockroft added the extras to bring his side back into the contest at 17-10.

Cockroft was again off target with a penalty early in the second period with his effort coming back off the post. Crocs recycled the ball well from the restart with Ryan and Jack Hammond making good ground before Thomas cut inside and slipped the ball to Sweeney who made no mistake this time, Cockroft’s conversion attempt drifted wide.

Cockroft was forced from the action through injury which brought new scrum half Chris Vine into the fray.

Crocs continued to go forward with Jack Hammond and substitute winger Billy Hammond both stopped short before Beverley hit back strongly and took a grip on the game which they never relinquished.

Birch secured his hat-trick of tries, Duboulay converting, before the latter played an inside ball for Tupai to crash over by the posts leaving a simple conversion.

A tiring Crocs side were then taken apart as a short lineout allowed Beverley’s No 8 to crash over from short range, the conversion making it 38-15, before Duboulay wrapped things up by breaking through some weak tackles to touch down and add the final conversion.