Old Crossleyans followed up last week’s impressive win at West Leeds with another maximum point victory, winning 27-20 against Keighley.
Crocs were cruising after 60 minutes having established a 27-3 lead and securing the bonus point within minutes of the restart.
However, three Keighley tries in a ten minute spell had the home support nervously glancing at their watches as an unlikely comeback looked a distinct possibility.
Crocs played large parts of the second half with fourteen men, a result of receiving two separate yellow cards for high tackles.
Crocs kicked off with a gale force wind behind them and, unsurprisingly, they dominated the opening exchanges and took the lead after only five minutes with a sublimely crafted try.
Following a series of pick and go drives from the pack, the back line was released and a well timed cut out pass found Chris Vine who burst through the midfield leaving defenders in his wake. The conversion was missed but the lead was extended five minutes later.
Rob Oliver forced a turnover in contact within Keighley’s ‘22’ and, when the visitors were subsequently penalised, Ed Cockroft’s successful kick moved the lead out to 8-0.
Keighley responded well, but Josh Hunt anticipated a pass to intercept on half way and he outpaced the cover to touch down after 20 minutes.
Ed Cockroft’s conversion stretched the advantage to 15-0 and Crocs threatened again shortly after following Jack Hammond’s surging break in midfield supported by Rob Oliver, only for the move to break down.
Approaching half time, Keighley landed a penalty after Crocs were caught offside. Crocs scored again deep into stoppage time, Billy Hammond bulldozed his way over the try line from the set piece. Ed Cockroft added the conversion to give Crocs a 22-3 half time lead.
Crocs extended their lead within minutes of the restart, Luke Sturman burrowing his way over the line. There was no conversion but the bonus point had been garnered and Crocs led 27-3.
Seemingly set for a routine victory, Crocs had a man yellow carded and Keighley continued to ask questions of the Crocs’ defence.
Any hope of quelling Keighley’s momentum suffered a setback when Crocs, once more, had a man yellow carded having just returned to a full complement of players.
This signalled the start of Keighley’s fightback and they scored their first try midway through the half when Sean Kelly broke through some uncharacteristically weak tackling to touch down.
Rich Tillotson then strolled through some further suspect tackling to claim the visitors’ second try. The conversion from Jack Atkinson narrowed the deficit to 27-15.
Keighley scored their third try when Will Mc Laughlin crashed over from short distance with six minutes to play. The conversion was missed but the deficit was now only seven points.
Crocs regrouped and managed to control the closing stages.