Driffield 22 Old Crossleyans 24
Old Crossleyans left it late before securing a welcome North One East victory in East Yorkshire.
Even then they were grateful to the opposition who inexplicably passed up the chance to win the game with a late, kickable penalty, opting instead to tap and go only for Neil Richardson to clear the danger with a massive clearing punt upfield.
Both teams were missing key players and it was Driffield who coped the better in the early stages.
The strong end to end wind dictated Crocs’ tactic of running from deep until Richardson joined the fray after 30 minutes and used his massive boot to good effect.
Driffield posted the first points with a penalty under the posts after three minutes, and as they continued to attack flanker Maka went in for a try under the posts which was converted by Kitching for a 10-0 lead.
It was all Driffield as Crocs lacked cohesion, but on 25 minutes a midfield scrum saw No8 and captain Ryan Hammond release scrum half Chris Vine. He made good yards supported by hooker Rory Davis after which Jack Hammond fed prop Boj Sembi who charged in at the side of the posts, Chris Vine adding the conversion for 10-7.
Driffield came again but were denied by an excellent leg tackle from Billy Hammond, playing out of position in the centre. However, the referee flashed a yellow card at Jack Hammond and with Crocs down to 14 men and under pressure, Driffield scored a neat try under the posts through McGregor converted by Kitching for a 17-7 half-time lead.
Crocs, still with 14 men, kept the ball in hand and locks Anthony Oxley and Chris Wood exerted pressure on the home defence which held firm. The Driffield backs were much more fluent and from a lineout on the 22, centre McGregor produced a long overhead ball to the right wing where Davis was faced with three attackers and centre McGill gathered to score in the corner for 22-7.
Crocs responded with a series of picks and drives and Ryan Hammond’s charge was supported by brother Billy who arced around five defenders to score 10 metres in from the flag, Vine improving with a massive high kick to bring his side right back into it at 22-14.
Vine pulled a penalty attempt just wide before Crocs brought themselves to within a point fo their hosts, a yellow card for Driffield creating the opportunity for Billy Hammond to pick up and dive over for his second try, Vine’s excellent touchline conversion making it 22-21.
Fly half Jack Hammond then cut through on the wing but was stopped giving a close in maul from which Crocs earned a penalty, Vine kicking to put his side ahead for the first time at 22-24.
Driffield once again forced the issue and Wainwright had to clear a dangerous attack before the hosts earned another penalty which was marched forward 10 metres due to Crocs dissent. However, Driffield refused the clear option and Crocs were able to clear.