Crocs are joint top

Old Crossleyans v. Leodensians
Old Crossleyans v. Leodensians

Old Crossleyans share the leadership of Yorkshire Two after Saturday’s 18-7 home success over Old Leodiensiens, who find themselves propping up the rest.

However, a dogged Leos side constantly posed problems for the hosts and their determination belied their lowly position.

But, as in the fixture the previous week at Goole, it was Crossleyans who stormed into an early and commanding lead.

Trademark forward drives by Crocs’ man of the match Ollie Coyne and player-coach Ryan Hammond took the ball deep into Leos’ half.

When the ball was transferred down the back line, winger James Wainwright cut inside his opposite man to feed the supporting Manny Bobo, who crashed over for his debut try in only his second start for Crocs. Craig Heppenstall missed the difficult conversion.

Again the forwards drove the ball towards the Leos line for Heppenstall to burrow his way over but London Society Exchange referee Mark Woodhouse adjudged him held up.

However, Crossleyans were not to be denied and following good work again by the forwards, flanker Rob Oliver sniped over by the posts to give Heppenstall an easier conversion opportunity.

At 12-0 Leos heads did not go down and the visitors forced a penalty close to the home try line. Leos confidently opted for a scrum and were rewarded with five points when they worked an opening on the right to cross the whitewash. The Leos fly half and skipper put over the extras to make it 12-7 on the half hour.

Crocs came very close to a third try just before the break when Heppenstall was held just short but the referee came back for a penalty and the same player gave the home side a 15-7 lead.

Leos could have reduced the deficit with a penalty of their own on the whistle but the ball rebounded off an upright into grateful Crocs hands.

The second half was reminiscent of seven days earlier with Crocs struggling to gain and retain possession and the visitors were much the livelier side in early exchanges.

Leos’ influential fly half chipped and regathered but Crossleyans’ defence, a positive feature so far this season, regrouped to keep the visitors out.

Incessant rain made running rugby difficult and both sides made handling errors.

Replacement Dwaine West made a good break but the ensuing penalty in front of the sticks saw three points squandered as the referee reversed his decision for chatting.

With 10 minutes left, Heppenstall extended the home lead to 18-7 with a penalty from 30 metres out. He had a couple of further difficult opportunities but there was no addition to the score.