Promoted Crocs face Dinnington first

BROOMFIELD will be the centre of attention tomorrow (Saturday) when Old Crossleyans make their Yorkshire One return against opponents who were playing two divisions higher than them last season.

Friday, 31st August 2018, 1:00 pm

Dinnington, very narrowly relegated from North East Division One, are the visitors for what will be an interesting test for the promoted Crocs.

The Rotherham side normally has a well-drilled, large set of forwards.

There has been a lot of activity during the close season regarding personnel at the Halifax club.

Gareth Greenwood has moved up to take the position of head coach and will have last year’s successful player-coach Ryan Hammond as his assistant.

That is a situation that seemed unlikely at the end of last season, when Hammond was expected to return to play in Spain.

Several former players have returned to the club, Tony Oxley from Sandal, Chris Vine from Old Brodleians, Manny Riaz from Bradford & Bingley and Luke Saltonstall from Heath.

Other new signings include promising front row forward Jack Pilcher from Halifax and rugby league convert Joel McFarlane. They are joined by prop forward Roland Marki, who has gained international honours with Hungary.

Unfortunately for the first game, Oxley and McFarlane have work commitments and Riaz is nursing an injury.

Martin Hamer, one of the stand-out players in the promotion run-in last season, will captain the side and former captain and long standing stalwart Jack Hammond will be his deputy.

Callum Dunne, who also impressed in the latter half of last season, looks certain to miss the first month of this season, as he heads to warmer climes to pursue his seven-a-side career.

Greenwood is not a great believer in pre-season friendlies but Crocs will hope they have done enough on the training ground to enable them to hit the ground running.

Heath go to Middlesbrough, Old Rishworthians to Moortown and Old Brodleians host Beverley in other Yorkshire One contests.

Halifax Vandals start life in Yorkshire Three, after a short stint in the division above, at home to Aireborough while Halifax make a short trip to play Wibsey in Yorkshire Four North West.

More RU previews in this week’s “Evening Courier”