Magnificent seven for Crocs as they thrash Brid’
In doing so, memories of a lacklustre performance earlier in the season at Dukes Park were erased as they served up some excellent rugby for the home support to enjoy.
Crocs opened up a 12-0 lead after 20 minutes before their attacking play was disrupted by having players yellow carded. Bridlington also lost players to the sin bin on the stroke of half time and the game, unsurprisingly, became rather fragmented. The second half was a much more entertaining spectacle as a clinical display from the Crocs saw them bag four further tries whilst restricting Bridlington to a single score in the final minutes.
Crocs showed their attacking intent from the outset as they dominated the early exchanges. Bridlington were penalised for entering at the side and Crocs kicked to the corner. The first tilt at the line was held up, inches short, but the visitors were caught offside and Crocs opted for the 5m scrum. A further penalty resulted in a reset scrum and, when the ball was released to the backs, Billy Hammond muscled his way over the try line and Ed Cockroft’s conversion gave Crocs a 7-0 lead.
he momentum was with the Crocs and they increased the lead on the quarter hour with a try of real quality. They exited their ‘22’ with Nick Faulkner leading the charge. Joe Gallagher hoisted a kick into the wind enabling Chris Vine to gather the ball on the half way line before releasing Chris Cullimore. The wing man drew the defender before passing inside to Ed Cockroft who shrugged off several tackles to gallop over the line. The conversion was missed but Crocs led 12-0.
Crocs scored within minutes of the second half restart. Ellis Nuttall drove the ball in hard and Ed Cockroft’s long clearance downfield took play deep into the Bridlington ‘22’. George Banham then punched a hole in midfield and a flowing back line move resulted in Callum Dunne touching down in the corner. An excellent touchline conversion from Ed Cockroft moved the lead out to 19-0. The home support was celebrating another ‘try’ shortly after when the ball went through several pairs of hands across the width of the pitch. Unfortunately, the final pass in the move was adjudged to be forward.
Crocs were playing with confidence and another score looked likely as the back line surged to within metres of the try line. The ball was taken to ground but Crocs were penalised at the ruck and the chance went missing. The disappointment was short lived and the bonus point try came midway through the half when Crocs stole line out ball in the Bridlington half and Billy Hammond, a one man wrecking crew, crashed his way to the try line from thirty metres out.
Crocs still had plenty of work to do with Bridlington driving the ball in hard looking to breach the bulwark defence. Cam Brannan forced a turnover following excellent work at the breakdown and although Crocs received another yellow card they were resolute in protecting their lead. Tom Metcalfe ripped the ball in contact and, although the initial clearance was charged down, Joe Gallagher completed the exit by clearing to halfway.
Luke Sturman drew a penalty after clamping the ball in at another breakdown and Crocs marched downfield. The forwards put together a series of pick and go drives before Joe Gallagher kicked across field to the right flank. The ball wasn’t gathered in by the defence and Matthew Beswick pounced on the loose ball to stretch the lead out to 29-0 with ten minutes to play.
The restart didn’t travel the requisite 10 metres and, from the resultant scrum, Ed Cockroft swept into the opposition half and Bridlington were penalised for offside. Crocs chose the scrum option from 15m out and patiently built the phases, creating an overlap on the right enabling Luke Sturman to touch down by the post. The formality of the conversion made it 36-0 before uncharacteristic lax defending allowed Bridlington to score as the game entered stoppage time.
There was still time for one final foray into the Bridlington half when a speculative kick behind the defensive line was just too strong and the chase went unrewarded as the ball went dead.