Soap Slip to Opening Day Defeat
Bad Day at the Office for Rusty Crosfields
Jimmy Williams opening league fixture as head coach ended in disappointment as Crosfields slumped to defeat in poor conditions at the Webb Security Recreation Ground.
In the opening exchanges both teams struggled to adapt and looked very rusty as errors aplenty made for unpleasant viewing. It was the home team though who finally settled and put the Dockers under some sustained pressure. Nathan Taylor looked to have opened the scoring following a neat Jack Reid kick but the score was ruled out by the touch judge for a highly debatable offside decision.
This seemed to spur the Hull men in to action as a purple patch of three unanswered tries in 7 minutes, with two Chris Stephenson conversions put the visitors firmly in control of the game. The home team guilty of gifting possession early in the tackle count that the Dockers exploited for tries from John McLeod, Dan Whyatt and Paul Fletcher at regular intervals.
The home side were shell shocked but rallied as young forward Jordan Williams crashed over next to the sticks following good work from James, Reid and Moore to start some sort of response. Reid converted and 5 minutes later good possession led to a carbon copy of the disallowed try as another kick to the corner was retrieved, with good footwork from winger Taylor to reduce the deficit.
The half saw two more tries as the Dockers extended their lead through a Craig Cook try on 35 minutes with poor defence allowing a simple try from dummy half that epitomised the poor performance. The home team were to have the last say though as Jack Reid stepped and dummied on the stroke of half time before feeding Jordan Williams who crashed over for his second try of the day converted by Reid to go in to half time 16-20 down.
The second half opened with much of the same from the first, as conditions made ball handling challenging. A first tackle knock on allowed the Dockers good field position and if it wasn't for an excellent Tyler Whittaker tackle out wide the visitors would have piled more misery on to Soap. It didn't take long however for that to happen as the ball was shipped across field for Tom Platt to crash over with only 3 minutes of the half gone. The Dockers were not stopping there and buoyed by their dominance struck again to all but end the game as a contest on 52 minutes. A chip through on the line from acting half back saw Steven Batty pounce to what proved to be an unassailable lead as Chris Stephenson converted to put the visitors 32-16 in front.
To their credit the home side never threw in the towel and continued to believe they could rescue the game. Impressive young forward Tom Millington and veteran forward Matty Barber continued to make the hard yards with one such passage of play leading to a neat chip by Reid regathered by Brad Stanway who crossed to close the gap on 57 minutes.
With 8 minutes left on the clock Dan Reid scored in the corner to reduce the arrears to 6 points and give the home crowd some hope of nicking something from a below par performance, but they had left themselves with too much to do and a Craig Cook drop goal at the death brought a close to a thoroughly disappointing home performance that will have to see significant improvement if Crosfields have any ambition to progress this season.
Best for the home team were Reid, Barber and Millington with the tireless work ethic of Hayden James rewarded with the man of the match award. The visitors veteran hooker Steven Batty was best for the Dockers.