Old Crossleyans lost 29-13 at home to Wetherby on Saturday, pressing the self-destruct button after turning round to play with the elements leading 13-10.
With all the teams around them in the lower half of Yorkshire Two either winning or picking up bonus points, this was a lost opportunity which plunged Crocs back into the relegation positions.
To add more to their misery, captain Jack Hammond was dismissed late in the second half for retaliation.
Early Wetherby pressure was resisted and the visitors had only a solitary penalty score to show for some sustained assaults on the home team’s line.
The Crocs responded with some determined driving, debutant fly half Devin Wells taking them forward with some astute kicking.
Some may say that the South African kicked a little too often, given the amount of possession the Crocs were enjoying, but most of his kicks led to the home side’s most effective periods of attack.
From a kick to the corner the Crocs drove the Wetherby pack back to their line and eventually, after many forward thrusts, the ball was spun wide for impressive young winger Nathan Cooper to cross for his first try on his home debut.
Just before the half time whistle, Crocs lost possession on the half way line and the livewire Wetherby scrum half made them pay by sprinting away for an excellent individual try.
At the start of the second half, Wells then showed he can kick from the ground as well as from hand by landing a 45 metre penalty goal.
Most of the home supporters must have been thinking that a much needed win was there for the taking. What they hadn’t counted on was the recurrence of Crocs’ bad habit of letting either complacency or lack of concentration set in.
In two minutes of madness, sloppy tackling in midfield by Crocs and good support play in attack by the visitors led to Wetherby edging in front.
The restart did not travel 10 metres and Wetherby took advantage of the possession to score again, aided by some poor attempts at tackling. That allowed the visitors to surge into a nine point lead.
Crocs never looked like getting back into the game and Wetherby, now full of confidence, emphasised their second half supremacy by scoring again.
Joe Baker at full back and Nathan Cooper took the eye in the home backs and the Sembi brothers were the most effective members of the pack.
A trip to Thorne in a fortnight and the following week’s home game against Wath are crucial if Crocs are to avoid relegation, but moving back towards the 3pm kick offs every game is becoming a must win encounter.