Crossleyans v Rishworthians: Late tries take hosts clear

Old Crossleyans v Old Rishworthians'Crocs'  Ryan Hammond tries to fend off an opponent
Old Crossleyans v Old Rishworthians'Crocs' Ryan Hammond tries to fend off an opponent

Old Crossleyans completed a Yorkshire One double over neighbours Old Rishworthians with an ultimately convincing 36-7 win at Broomfield yesterday.

They roared into an early lead with two converted tries. Midway through the half there was a long stoppage when a Rishworthians’ player required medical attention on the field from paramedics.

With defences on top there was no further scoring until midway through the second period when Rishworthians reduced the lead to 14-7 following a charged down clearance kick.

This prompted a stirring response from the Crocs who dominated the closing 10 minutes and ran in three tries for a margin of victory which didn’t reflect the shift put in by visitors fighting to

stave off relegation.

The first try came after only two minutes following a flowing back line move from a line out deep in the Rishworthians’ half. Josh Hunt finished well, outpacing the cover on the right wing before arcing infield to touch down by the posts. Callum Dunne converted.

Minutes later, Crocs scored their second try following Jack Pilcher’s ball steal in midfield. Joe Gallagher’s crossfield kick caused hesitation in the visitors’ defence allowing George Ackroyd to pounce on the loose ball and sprint away to the try line. Dunne’s conversion stretched the lead to 14-0 after six minutes.

Crocs were playing with confidence and Billy Hammond burst through the midfield to take play deep into the Rishworthians’ half but a subsequent crossfield kick went straight into touch.

Rishworthians were struggling to retain the ball and their periods of pressure went unrewarded.

Following the restart after the injury stoppage, the visitors began to control play, helped by an increasingly strong, gusty wind. They put together a sustained period of pressure but the Crocs’ defence held firm.

Rishworthians, in turn, defended effectively for several phases of play when Crocs forced a five metre scrum and Ed Cockroft’s excellent clearance took play close to the try line where Crocs secured their own lineout throw and cleared to touch at the end of the half.

The opening exchanges of the second period were controlled by the visitors but play became scrappy with unforced errors from both teams.

Rishworthians were having the lion’s share of possession and, midway through the half, forced Crocs to defend their line.

The visitors’ persistence paid dividends when Cockroft charged down a clearance kick and raced away under the posts. His successful conversion cut the gap to seven points with 15 minutes left.

Crocs controlled the rest of the game. They also scored from a charged down clearance kick courtesy of wingman Ackroyd, who galloped away to the side of the posts to complete his brace. Dunne added the conversion and the home support breathed more easily sensing the momentum was now with them.

This was confirmed when Billy Hammond went on a marauding run deep into the Rishworthians’ half. The visitors were penalised for offside at the subsequent ruck and Dunne stretched the lead out to 24-7.

With the game entering stoppage time, Crocs scored two further tries, the first of which was superbly crafted.

Pilcher shrugged off the attentions of several defenders and off-loaded to supporting team mates. Billy Hammond continued the move before finding Gallagher. His deft sleight of hand released Jack Hammond who muscled his way over the line.

With the bonus point secured, Crocs finished with a flourish. James Cooper ripped the ball from an opponent on halfway and released Hunt, who sprinted down the wing to score his second. Dunne converted from the touchline.