Old Crossleyans 20 Bradford & Bingley 6
Crocs claimed retribution for two earlier defeats at the hands of Bradford & Bingley by earning a valuable four points from their North One East clash at Broomfield.
A good all-round perfomance laid the platform for the success against a Bees side who played their part in an entertaining encounter.
Crocs were at something like full-strength and it showed in a lively start. Left wing Chris Vine landed a penalty after just six minutes to put the home side ahead.
A period of end to end rugby then ended with Bees penalised for not releasing and Vine‘s kick doubled the advantage at 6-0. Bees halved the deficit two minutes later with Richard Skull landing a penalty for the visitors.
Ramon Sembi was outstanding for Crocs who stretched their lead with a well-worked score.
Bees kicked over the cover from a lineout which Richard Wheale fielded. He fed Vine who charged 40 metres before slipping an inside pass to Wheale who was downed.
Quick recycled ball went wide via Jack Hammond to his brother Billy and his back-flipped pass brought Adam Sutcliffe into play and he touched down, Vine landing an excellent conversion for 13-3 after 28 minutes.
Crocs escaped when Bees twice knocked on when looking certain to score while Gareth Ott was on hand to clear when the visitors threatened again.
The second half saw Sutcliffe do well to repel the Bees, but the danger returned and scrum half Will Travis was shown a yellow card.
Bees spread the ball wide but knocked on yet again after which Jack Hammond punted the ball 50 metres from the scrum to relieve the pressure.
Crocs rang the changes with Manny Riaz replaced by Kev McGill while Matt Schofield came on for Ramon Sembi.
From a Bees lineout and drive Crocs, still with 14 men, were penalised for pulling down the maul and Skull stepped up to make 1t 13-6.
Minutes later Crocs won a penalty on the Bees’ 22 but Vine was just wide. Minutes later another attempt bounced back into play off the post.
Riaz returned in place of Chris Seymour and Crocs stepped up another gear.
A rare short lineout found Reuben Pollard who made yards. The ball was fed across the back line with Billy Hammond’s attempted pass to Vine falling just short.
From Bees’ scrum pressure forced the defensive kick to be grounded behind their own line and from the five metre scrum Travis brushed through the tackles to score a deserved try, Vine converting under pressure from the on-rushing forwards.
Crocs then withstood a late flourish to run out deserved victors.