Ma­jor test of char­ac­ter as Brid pay call

Halifax Courier - - Sport -

Old Cross­leyans host Bridling­ton to­mor­row (2.15) in their con­tin­ued bat­tle to beat the drop in York­shire One. Hav­ing lost to Selby, Heath and West Park Leeds in their last three games, a meet­ing with third-placed Brid, who beat vis­i­tors York 31-10 last week, rep­re­sents a very tough task.

To have a chance the Broom­field men will have to try to erase mem­o­ries of their 95-27 de­feat on the east coast in the au­tumn - prob­a­bly the low point of their sea­son.

Last Satur­day’s 22-18 de­feat at West Park Leeds, who scored a late try to grab the spoils, was a huge dis­ap­point­ment.

Rugby chair­man Howard Cooper said: “Last week we did ev­ery­thing but win the game. los­ing out to the last move of the match.

“We have to start turn­ing pres­sure into points and start cross­ing the try line more of­ten.

“Ryan Sweeney’s goal kick­ing was top draw with six out of six penal­ties con­verted, but de­spite dom­i­nat­ing, es­pe­cially in the se­cond half up the slope and into the breeze, we couldn’t score a try.

“This week we have to re­verse a huge de­feat away at Bridling­ton ear­lier in the sea­son and need to take ev­ery op­por­tu­nity of­fered to do so.”

For­wards Kev McGill and Sam Broughton re­turn but Luke Sal­ton­stall is un­avail­able and Chris Sey­mour and Cayci Pear­son are both in­jured.

Sweeney’s boot gave Crocs an 18-15 lead go­ing into the clos­ing sec­onds last Satur­day.

How­ever, a maul in­volv­ing al­most all of the home side pro­duced a match win­ning try for the young hosts and there was no time to restart af­ter the suc­cess­ful con­ver­sion from Ed Cross­land.

Bizarrely, Crocs’ los­ing bonus point moved them out of the bot­tom two, above Selby who lost 20-0 at home to Mal­ton and Nor­ton.

How­ever, West Park Leeds are now only three points be­hind the pair of them with Yarn­bury, beaten 15- 14 at home by Hul­len­sians, four in front.

Crocs, who had won the first meet­ing 26-21 in mid-Oc­to­ber, were 12-0 down af­ter 10 min­utes yes­ter­day.

The hosts scored a pushover try cred­ited to No 8 John Fletcher and crossed again via cen­tre Sam Booth, Cross­land con­vert­ing.

Play swung from end to end and while Crocs again showed lit­tle co­he­sion, they forced their hosts into con­ced­ing penal­ties and Sweeney’s deadly left boot hit the tar­get four times to get the vis­i­tors on terms two min­utes be­fore the in­ter­val.

Jack Ham­mond made a short­lived ap­pear­ance and for­wards Cayci Pear­son and Manny Riaz also went off in­jured.

Cen­tre James Wain­wright was do­ing his best to get Crocs go­ing and Sweeney kicked the Broom­field men into a 15-12 lead, only for Cross­land to re­ply af­ter 55 min­utes.

Sweeney re­stored the vis­i­tors’ ad­van­tage with 10 min­utes left but Crocs were then un­der the cosh and they were un­able to hold out, flanker Clay­ton Hill get­ting the al­limpor­tant score for the hosts. Hal­i­fax Van­dals travel to third­from bot­tom Leeds Corinthi­ans to­mor­row with an eight point lead at the top of York­shire Four.

They will be look­ing to com­plete a dou­ble af­ter a 14-0 home win in early Novem­ber.

Jamie Bloem’s men kept the pot boil­ing with a 31-11 home win over Os­sett last Satur­day.

Skip­ton beat Wens­ley­dale 20-3 in a con­test be­tween two of the other pro­mo­tion con­tenders.

Josh Kelly for Rish­wor­thi­ans last week­end

An­thony Shoe­smith scores for Rish­wor­thi­ans in their fine win at Round­he­gians

Pic­tures: Jade Smith

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