Old Crossleyans were beaten 36-25 on unfamiliar territory at Hullensians yesterday but at least brought home a four-try bonus point in their Yorkshire One survival bid.
The Broomfield men had two more new players, ex-Cleckheaton pair Cameron Brannan and Chris Harries, filling the flanker berths for coach Mark Walton’s first game in charge.
A strong wind had helped to dry the pitch and Crocs had the advantage of it in an end-to-end first half.
Hullensians took only three minutes to get on the scoreboard, stand off Chris Harding cutting through and sending half-back partner Chris Smith under the posts. Fullback Will Simpson hit an upright with the kick.
Ryan Sweeney’s wind-assisted penalty from 40 metres made it 5-3 on 10 minutes but Hullensians gained a pushover try in the corner from lock Kevin Bates and Simpson added a great conversion.
Crocs looked in big trouble when home No 8 Jason Conroy went in under the sticks on 18 minutes and Simpson’s kick made it 19-3.
However, centre Jack Hammond made a 50 metre break and eventually crossed for a try after hooker Richard Wheale had gone close following a couple of tap-penalties.
The visitors made further inroads into Hullensians lead on the stroke of half time when Sam Broughton made good ground and Chris Vine’s long pass sent Gareth Sweeney in at the corner. Ryan Sweeney’s fine kick made it 19-15.
Crocs hit the front on 46 minutes when good play by Zane Sanders and Matt Thorburn paved the way for Luke Saltonstall to break clear on half-way. He had Vine inside but dummied the fullback to score a fine try in the corner.
Hullensians produced a 17-point burst in 10 minutes to regain control. Harding scored on 52 minutes and winger Josh Langford on 61, Simpson adding two fine conversions plus a penalty in between.
However, Crocs returned to the attack and a Hammond break paved the way for Kiwi Thornburn, playing at lock, to score his first try for the club with 14 minutes left.
The visitors tried hard but were unable to close the gap any further.