Old Crossleyans have just one losing bonus point to show from three North One East outings this season after a 27-14 home defeat by improving Dinnington today.
Crocs started brightly and finished well, but the promoted visitors from South Yorkshire dominated possession in between to maintain their 100 per cent start to the season.
Ed Cockroft, who returned to the home ranks with half-back partner Gareth Ott and No 8 Ryan Hammond, was quick to make his mark, setting up the opening score on six minutes.
Cockroft made 50 metres from a tap penalty after Dinnington had been penalised at a scrum on the home 22 and the ball was spun right for winger Will Travis to touch down.
Cockroft added the extras but Dinnington, already showing their muscle up front, were quick to hit the front with a straight 40 metre penalty from useful play-maker Jonny West and an unconverted try in the corner from lock Gary Woodcock.
Chris Seymour’s fine touch-finder from a narrow angle set up the position from which full-back Ben Greaves went close but Dinnington were in the ascendancy and added a second try after half an hour.
Strong in the maul, the visitors were also excellent in the lineout and they stole Crocs ball to pave the way for rangy fullback Tyle Stimpson to make it 7-13 with an unconverted score.
Powerful No 8 Will Marshall battered away but the Crocs defence held and an Ott grubber kick was followed by a Kev McGill charge to 10 metres just before the half-time whistle.
Replacement Navneet Sembi snuffed out a Dinnington threat with a solid tackle into touch and Rob Oliver eased pressure with a run to half-way.
A Crocs attack broke down when the ball went to ground from Cockroft’s reverse pass and Dinnington made headway through West’s boot before a succession of forward drives yielded a try five metres to the left of the posts from replacement Alan Ferris. West’s conversion made it 7-20 on 58 minutes.
Dinnington turned the screw. Oliver lost possession on half-way, Greaves was collared after collecting a kick through and centre Jack Hammond yellow carded for knocking the ball away after Crocs had been penalised near their own line.
The visitors were twice held up over the try line by some heroic defence but Cockroft’s clearance brought only temporary respite, Dinnington keeping the ball alive well for another of their replacements, James Beck, to touch down.
The goal was added by West and at 7-27, with a four-try bonus point in the bag, it was job done as far as the visitors were concerned.
Crocs tried hard to lift their game in the remaining 14 minutes but handling errors marred their progress.
However, they managed a second try with a minute to go when Oliver was stopped just short from a diagonal run and the ball was recycled for blind side Luke Gardiner to drive over the try line.
Cockroft added a fine conversion and Crocs went in search of an unlikely consolation point with runs from Greaves and Neil Richardson, but to no avail.