Crocs taste first defeat

Moortown v. Old Crossleyans''549   Martin Hamer
Moortown v. Old Crossleyans''549 Martin Hamer

Old Crossleyans suffered their first defeat of the season in a 31-10 loss at Moortown, who combined strength and pace to outscore the visitors by five tries to one.

Crocs scored a converted try on half time to reduce the deficit to 13-7 and when a penalty narrowed the gap further, the large visiting support harboured hopes of a comeback.

In the final half hour, however, Moortown scored three tries and Crocs lost top place in Yorkshire One to Middlesbrough.

Moortown showed their attacking intent from the outset. A flowing back line move was called back for a forward pass following a controlled rolling maul.

The Leeds side took the lead on eight minutes. From a scrum, the back line was released and Ben Fairclough raced through a big gap to touch down.

Moortown kicked deep, behind the line, and Crocs were unable to gather, allowing Innes to pick up and score a second unconverted try, in the corner. The 10-0 lead reflected Moortown’s dominance.

Crocs were struggling to win line out ball and unforced errors allowed Moortown to control possession and territory. They looked to stretch the Crocs’ defence at every opportunity.

Crocs threatened when Tony Oxley broke through midfield and found support from Iain Davies but Crocs were subsequently penalised for not releasing in the tackle.

Moortown laid siege to the Crocs’ try line but this time the defence held firm.

Joe Stott was alert to the danger from a Moortown chip behind the defensive line but the lead was extended to 13-0 on the half hour with an excellent long-range drop goal from Mark Shires.

Phil Schedlbauer’s crunching tackle forced a knock on and signalled a period of more controlled play from Crocs.

They patiently built the phases and Joe Gallagher surged through a gap to take play into Moortown territory. After a series of penalties, Martin Hamer took a quick tap, drove the ball in and Schedelbauer stretched out to touch down. Callum Dunne’s conversion made it 13-7 but Moortown controlled the second half.

They kicked deep behind the Crocs’ defensive line on numerous occasions knowing that the visitors were still having problems securing line out ball.

Gallagher cleared long from a narrow angle and then Martin Hamer and Jack Pilcher combined to break into the opposition half. Moortown were offside and Dunne narrowed the deficit to three points.

Any hopes of a comeback were dashed when Moortown scored three tries midway through the half.

The first came from a swift back line move, including a deft off-load, which resulted in Greenwood scoring in the corner.

Crocs were then penalised for a scrum infringement and Moortown kicked to the corner. The initial catch and drive was held up but, from the ruck, the ball was switched quickly to the short side and Farley touched down.

Dunne made an excellent clearance but the momentum was with Moortown and they scored their final try with 10 minutes to play following another sweeping back line move.

The conversion attempt hit a post but a penalty five minutes from time completed the scoring.