Second half super show secures victory

Tony Oxley
Tony Oxley

Alnwick 13 Old Crossleyans 35

Old Crossleyans returned to winning ways in North One East after wearing Alnwick down with an excellent second half display of patient and controlled rugby.

Crocs made light of the long trip up the A1 to see off their hosts and banish the memory of the derby defeat by Cleckheaton two weeks ago.

The visitors made a good start without being able to hurt Alnwick and it was the hosts who claimed the lead from their first attack with stand off Warcup crossing out wide.

The response was immediate, Rob Oliver and Kev McGill profiting from turnover ball to send Tony Oxley in for the first of his two tries.

Crocs atttempted to play their normal expansive game, but rushed passes led to them giving the ball away.

Alnwick suffered from the same problem before they regained the lead with full-back Bird kicking a penalty for 8-5.

Once again Crocs wasted no time in hitting back, Vine landing two penalties, the second the result of some much better build up play, for an 11-8 half-time advantage.

Crocs were immediately on the front foot after the break with James Wainwright excellent in the loose, Jack Hammond a constant thorn in Alnwick’s flesh and Billy Hammond strong and patient with the ball.

Crocs extended their lead when Oliver and Will Travis combined down the left where a precise kick forced Alnwick to find touch.

A superb catch and drive from the lineout saw Crocs make progress with Wainwright credited with the try.

Alnwick started to look a little ragged and did not help their cause by kicking out on the full on five occasions.

Crocs upped the tempo and made it 23-8 when Chris Vine and Jack Hammond combined to set Joe Baker through and he cut inside for the try which Vine converted.

Alnwick re-grouped and put pressure on the Crocs scrum which resulted in Oliver recieving a yellow card.

The home side took advantage with No 8 Hamilton going over from the back of the scrum to make it 23-13.

Any hopes of a comeback were dashed as Crocs finished strongly. Lock McGill found himself on the wing and galloped 30 metres before slipping the supporting Jack Hammond in, and with six minutes to go good recycled ball allowed Oxley to burst through a tiring defence to go in under the posts leaving Vine with a straightforward conversion.