Crocs still searching for first win

Old Crossleyans v Driffield. Gareth Ott.
Old Crossleyans v Driffield. Gareth Ott.
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Old Crossleyans suffered a third successive defeat since relegation to Yorkshire One when beaten 32-19 at home by Malton and Norton.

However, the Broomfield men, who had experienced trio Gareth Ott, Richard Wheale and Kev McGill back in the starting line up, had no complaints about the outcome.

The visitors dominated territory and possession and it was only the referee’s whistle that kept Crocs in the hunt for so long, although they did show plenty of spirit and worked hard.

South African scrum half Zwelakhe Sodladla gave Malton the lead with an eighth minute try which he converted himself but Ryan Sweeney replied four minutes later and then made it 6-7 with a second successful kick on 17 minutes.

The visitors were dominating and bursting through Crocs’ midfield defence. However, their efforts to cross the try line were thwarted by the official, who ruled crossing and a forward pass, as well as bringing play back on another occasion for an illegal tackle.

Sweeney rubbed salt into the visitors’ wounds with two more successful penalties.

Malton made their breakthrough four minutes after half time, Sam Harrison powering over after the visitors had won lineout ball. Sodladla converted and added a 52nd minute penalty for offside to make it 12-17.

Left winger Ben Woodhouse extended the lead with an unconverted try in the corner, after several phases of Malton possession, on 63 minutes.

Crocs produced an excellent response in the form of a brilliant individual try from Luke Saltonstall, who showed real pace to go past defenders from half-way, stepping inside the last man.

Sweeney added a superb conversion to put Crocs back within striking distance at 19-22 on 65 minutes.

However, Malton finished the stronger. Their forwards sent the home scrum into retreat for Sodladla to kick a penalty.

Back rower Triffit then killed off the home side and Sodladla added the goal.

Crocs are away to Bradford Salem next Saturday.