“I saw this as a potential banana skin to our progress, but the lads stuck to our game plan and the substitutions were decisive and made an impact. We host Hunslet Warriors next week and I hope we can reproduce the entertainment we displayed today"”
Ian Boden - Head Coach
Crosfields headed to Drighlington in fine form, confident of making further progress in the league campaign. Recent history between the two clubs means these games are always going to be competitive no matter the league standings, and today's first half was no different.
It was the home team who took the lead after forcing back to back sets on three occasions with centre Jake Dearden breaking the line eventually. Defences were on top on a very small sloping pitch for the next 15 minutes with the deadlock broken following a trademark Jack Reid double dummy before touching down under the sticks, which he converted to take the lead.
Soap were on top now and enjoyed a purple patch as Joe Clarke broke the line and laid on a superb round the man off-load to the supporting Hayden James to round the full back and score. Three minutes later with the momentum firmly behind them Matty Barber's first drive after coming on to the field carved Drighlington open up the middle. James was on hand again to take the pass and score under the posts. Reid added the extras to take a 16-4 lead.
Soap then seemed to switch off and give the home side some encouragement with some uncharacteristic errors and the concession of soft penalties. Drighlington made the most of these gifts and scored two more tries to take the half-time scoreline to 14-16.
The slope on the pitch was in the favour of Crosfields in the first half and the home team in the second. The first period finished with Drig on top and with a slope to assist, Soap would do well to keep them out for 40 minutes. Bar a try at with the last play of the game they did just that with a far superior second half performance.
It looked as though it was going to be a different story however as the Yorkshire men came out of the blocks eager to keep the initiative forcing back to back drop outs. Crosfields defence was superb though as they withstood a barrage of pressure. It was against the run of play and this home team onslaught that Soap struck next. Tom Brown following a good drive managed to squeeze the ball out of the tackle to feed the ever willing Hayden James, who in turn found Millington and then Mitch McJay put centre, Luke Walker through a gap which he fully exploited to score a fantastic try and put soap back on top.
Walker backed this up 10 minutes later with another great try fed by full back John Whittaker to extend the lead out of the home team's reach. Soap were continuously probing and looking the stronger team, but it was a moment of brilliance by winger Nathan Taylor the next to trouble the scorers. Stanway went close before the ball was shipped out wide to Taylor who planted the ball down in the corner with the rest of his body in the air and in touch.
Soap were playing some free flowing rugby and it was another great passage of play that led to the next try. Stanway the beneficiary after a Luke Walker break set in motion by good handling by Brown and Mahoney. Walker was held short but the ball came out to scrum half Brad Stanway who dummied the overlap to score under the sticks to extend to an unassailable lead.
With a minute left on the clock Drighlington won a penalty in their own 10 and punted the kick pretty much the full length of the field. A try at the death from dummy half put some gloss on to a second half for Drig that was totally dominated by the in-form visitors. Best for Crosfields were man of the match Luke Walker, Jack Reid, Hayden James and the tireless pack were immense.
Next week the Soap are at home to Hunslet Warriors kick off 2:30pm
Updated 15:38 - 21 Jun 2018 by Kate Hall