Old Crossleyans finally got their Yorkshire One campaign up and running with a 31-10 home win over Selby yesterday.
Both sides were in need of a lift after a barren first month of the season and it was the Crocs who got it, aided by an excellent performance with the boot from goal-kickling find Ryan Sweeney.
The left-footed winger scored all the points - four penalties and a converted try - as the hosts built a 19-3 lead before forwards Richard Wheale and Kev McGill got in on the act with tries in the final 10 minutes.
Standeven House was in darkness before the contest but power was restored in time for Howard Cooper’s charges to enjoy a hot shower and a celebratory beer.
Cooper, holding the coaching reins again following Russ Lawrance’s resignation last week, was pleased with a confidence-boosting success ahead of next Saturday’s derby game at Heath.
Victory did not come without its problems. New Kiwi stand-off Zane Sanders was forced off with a chest injury inside 20 minutes and Crocs gave away possession almost as soon as they got it throughout a low-quality first half.
Fortunately for Crocs, their scrum was rock solid and Selby hadn’t the weapons to punch the holes in their defence that Bradford Salem had seven days earlier.
Sweeney, whose brother Gareth was at fullback, struck penalties on 13 and 28 minutes before adding a third with the last act of the first period, visiting stand-off Scott Hunt replying in kind on 35 minutes.
The only try-scoring chance in the opening half fell to Selby, winger Ben Lunt knocking on a couple of yards short of the try line following Hunt’s kick through.
The visitors started the second half the better and Crocs were grateful to the booming boots of returning centre Neil Richardson and Ryan Sweeney for long clearances.
The turning point of the game came on 51 minutes when Ryan Sweeney intercepted near the top touchline close to half-way, chipped ahead and just managed to get downward pressure on the ball over the try line.
His conversion and a penalty following a Selby ruck offence shortly after left Crocs with a 19-3 lead and in a position to relax a little.
With the experienced Chris Seymour successfully calling the shots and centre Jack Hammond running elusively, the home men added to their tally.
Short passing close to the touchline allowed Wheale to go over, Ryan Sweeney missing his only kick of the afternoon,
Normal service was resumed after lock McGill, who had one of his best games in the navy and gold, swatted off several tacklers as he galloped in from half-way.
Selby, who clearly need to find major improvement if they are to stay up, kept going until the end and were rewarded when replacement Michael Pegg drove over from close range, Hunt converting.