Late score seals Crocs’ fate

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Old Crossleyans fell on their sword as they exited Yorkshire One with a 20-13 defeat at home to Old Brodleians today.

With the scores tied at 13-13 entering the closing seconds of the Broomfield derby, and a draw unlikely to be enough for Crocs to overhaul third-from-bottom Selby, they desperately attempted to run the ball from their own line with fatal consequences.

Possession was lost and visiting winger Zac Thompson was gifted his second try of the afternoon, converted by Ollie Akroyd, to send Crocs through the relegation trap door for a second successive season.

In the end it was all academic as news filtered through that Selby had beaten Scarborough 33-31.

Crocs certainly went down fighting against a team that had crushed them 54-14 at Woodhead on September 5.

Richard Wheale, Andy Day and Jack Hammond were among those who wore their hearts on their sleeves in a do-or-die effort.

The home side had the better of the forward exchanges against opponents lacking first choice props Josh Cricknay and Callum Thompson, the corner stones of their pack.

However, a lack of fluency in the backs - an area in which they excelled not so long ago - and basic handling errors cost them dear.

Crocs made their usual positive start and were encouraged by a successful 40 metre angled penalty from winger Ryan Sweeney after 10 minutes which few would have attempted.

However, a break from centre James Marshall heralded a better spell from the visitors, who drew level through Akroyd’s easy penalty on 24 minutes.

Brods went 8-3 up on 31 minutes when stand off Liam Scott grabbed possession from an overthrown lineout near the home 22 and broke through unconvincing tackling to score.

Sweeney hit an upright with a long range penalty but only desperate defence prevented his side from conceded a second try before the break, Nathan Scott and Reece Ward being held up over the line.

Crocs were determined to try to keep it tight but they conceded a second try on 50 minutes after Brods fullback Phil Town had run the ball back at them.

Ward’s off-load in the tackle and short quick passes from Akroyd and Marshall gave Zac Thompson - who had scored four against West Park Leeds the previous Saturday - an easy finish.

The kick was missed and there was the unusual sight of Sweeney being off target with a fairly easy penalty as Crocs looked to eat into their opponents’ 13-3 lead.

They did so with 12 minutes left, referee David Downham awarding a penalty try when Brods twice illegally stopped the home eight marching to the try line from a scrum.

Sweeney converted and levelled the scores with seven minutes left from in front of the posts after the home forwards had applied more pressure.

A lineout knock-on and penalty conceded at the breakdown checked the home side’s push for a winning score and when Town kicked deep, sending Sweeney scurrying back, Crocs committed suicide.