Old Crossleyans suffered a damaging 15-14 defeat at Alnwick yesterday in their efforts to climb out of the relegation zone in North One East.
They were optimistic of building on the previous week’s big home win over whipping boys Horden but their tackling wasn’t up to scratch on their longest trip of the season.
The Broomfield men led 7-3 at half time but eventually needed a try at the death from Billy Hammond, converted by Chris Vine, to salvage a losing bonus point.
Lacking Manny Riaz, Jonathan McCormack and Rob Oliver, they had to play evergreen Chris Seymour at open side flanker.
There was no score in an open, entertaining first 20 minutes.
Centre Jack Hammond then made one of his trademark breaks, going past several opponents and finding supporting winger Adam Sutcliffe, who completed the move. Vine converted.
Seymour made his presence felt with a couple of big hits and Crocs blew a couple of try chances when Jack Hammond was involved again but Vine and then Luke Gardiner could not hold passes with the line beckoning.
The visitors were offside three minutes before half time and James Bird kicked a penalty to make it 3-7.
Alnwick made good ground in the early stages of the second half and took the lead on 52 minutes when they broke tackles on half-way and took play to the 22 where centre Ali Gray scampered under the posts and Peter Moralee converted.
It was all Crocs for the next 10 minutes but they were unable to get to the try line.
Kev McGill, Matthew Schofield and Lee Richardson provided fresh legs for the Halifax side but there was no addition to the scoreline until three minutes from time.
Home scrum half Hugh Todd then scored from a sniping run and although the conversion was missed it was all over at 15-7.
However, visiting fullback Ben Greaves took a neat pass and weaved his way past several home players before slipping the ball to Billy Hammond, who touched down and Vine converted.
Crocs host Bradford and Bingley on Saturday and after yesterday’s setback it is looking a must-win game for them.