Late penalty sinks below-par Crocs

Stand off Gareth Ott scored Crocs' try yesterday
Stand off Gareth Ott scored Crocs' try yesterday

Johnny Woodcock, a regular thorn in the side of Old Crossleyans down the years, condemned them to defeat at Broomfield yesterday with a fine long-range penalty for Wheatley Hills in the closing seconds.

The South Yorkshire side won 11-10 in North One East and the Broomfield men had only themselves to blame after turning down two kickable penalties in the second half and wasting what limited possession they gained due to over-elaboration.

A further blow to a small squad hit recently by broken bones for Manny Riaz and Rob Oliver was a rib injury sustained by Billy Hammond which could put him on the sidelines.

Hills bossed early possession and Woodcock kicked them in front on 15 minutes but Chris Vine made it 3-3 from the 22 metre line shortly after.

A try went begging for Crocs midway through the half when lock Chris Wood tried to off-load when he appeared able to go under the posts following good work from Chris Jones, Richard Wheale and Bodge Sembi.

However, the home side went 10-3 up after 25 minutes after an attack launched on half-way by Ryan Hammond and continued by his brother Billy. Play was spread wide and the forwards supported well before stand off Gareth Ott stepped inside the cover and went under the posts, Vine converting.

Billy Hammond went off after making a couple of tackles, Chris Seymour coming on at fullback and Joe Baker switching to the wing.

Hills kicked to the corner and drove for the try line but a penalty for crossing brought relief to the hosts before the half time whistle.

The visitors, who pushed their hosts back in the scrums in the second half, reduced the deficit to 10-8 on 47 minutes.

Ryan Hammond tried to run from ball following a scrum on his own 22. When stopped he flicked the ball back to Neil Richardson, whose kick was charged down. The ball bounced out wide and stand off Mark Sanderson scored, Woodcock surprisingly missing the kick.

Vine was just off target with a 55th minute penalty shot and shortly afterwards tried to take a tap penalty on the visitors’ 22 and went through an unprepared defence, only for the referee to call play back to lecture a Hills forward.

Another chance for a shot at goal was turned down shortly afterwards and that proved crucial in the final stages, when Crocs were offside 40 metres out and Woodcock’s magnificent kick just cleared the bar.