Ryan’s men keep up good work

Old Crossleyans player-coach Ryan Hammond against Ripon
Old Crossleyans player-coach Ryan Hammond against Ripon

Old Crossleyans maintained their fine start to the season in Yorkshire Two with a 25-20 win at West Park Leeds on Saturday.

They lie third in the table, dropping one point behind Yarnbury and Pontefract who each picked up a four-try bonus point in runaway wins.

It was still a highly-satisfactory day for Crocs new-player coach Ryan Hammond, who switched from the pack to centre due to unavailabilities.

Crocs kicked off against the breeze and made a positive start but were penalised for Scott Caley not releasing.

Joe Baker, the Park open side flanker, made the first of several good breaks but a teammate knocked on and Joe Gallagher cleared to touch.

The visitors opened the scoring in excellent fashion. Hammond fed Caley, who set off on a weaving run. He was brought down a few yards from the line but the ball was quickly spun right for Raman Sembi to score an unconverted try in the corner.

Crocs knocked on from the re start and when caught offside, Phil Warboys reduced the arrears. He added a second penalty after another good break by Baker for a 6-5 lead.

Craig Heppenstall kicked the visitors back in front and both sides had spells on attack, an intricate backs move ending badly for Crocs and leaving Gallagher and Caley needing attention.

Park cleared but winger Tom Metcalfe returned the ball with interest. Crocs continued to attack but Park centre Harry Ibe snatched an interception and scored under the posts. Warboys converted.

Heppenstall’s third penalty made it 13-11 at half time.

The second half started with two good clearing kicks from Gallagher. Metcalfe was injured and replaced by old war horse Chris Seymour.

Good Park pressure was met by superb defence but Gallagher stroked a penalty deep into touch and Hammond, having another immense game, took the ball in strongly. It was recycled via Lewis Sharpe to Seymour, who sent Caley in near the posts for a great try. The extras were added by Heppenstall for a 13-18 scoreline.

Park intercepted again and Crocs stretched their lead when Heppenstall beat a couple of players and then chipped the defence and won the race to the line. The conversion was added.

Park attacked with everything they had but were stopped by a great tackle from James Wainwright.

However, Crocs had a player yellow carded and in the final minute, after what seemed a clear knock on missed by the official, Park replacement Tom Dean scored a good try which he converted himself.

Crocs have a top of the table clash against Pontefract at Broomfield on October 21.