Crosfields celebrated 20th years in the NCL in fine style
with a win over fourth placed Askam, in very entertaining game.
Both teams played expansive rugby throughout. Crosfields went close early on, when Nathan Taylor collected Jack Reid’s kick on the last tackle, but lost the ball whilst stretching for the line.
Askam hit back when they pressurised the Crosfields’ defence and Tom Hopkins crashed over from close range. Kristian Tyson converted for a 0-6 lead.
The home side rose to the challenge and moved the ball around, with the new half back combination of Reid and Brad Stanway, looking dangerous.
Taylor made a good break and gained a penalty, which allowed Crosfields to march downfield. Close to the line Reid’s short pass found Joe Moore on the burst and he took three defenders over the line to score. Reid’s conversion levelled things at 6-6.
Hayden James caught the acting halves flat-footed as he went on a typical searing run. Stanway was in support to put his side into a commanding position. Jake Spedding realised this and held down too long and was despatched to the sin-bin.
In his absence, Crosfields stretched the Askam defence and Ash Cornelia stpped his opposite centre to score out wide. Reid converted for a 12-6 lead.
Cosfields dominated the game in this period and another show and go saw Reid step through the defence for a try, which he converted.
Minutes later the home side were on the attack again. John Whittaker fed Chris Hull on the inside and he took play into the Askam half, Jordan Williams followed up with a great run, before releasing the ball in the tackle. The ball got to Taylor who went through the gap, before bizarrely having to side step the referee to touch down. Reid converted and Crosfields looked in control at 24-6.
The next attack from Crosfields looked to be gaining dividends, but a long pass was plucked out of the air by Tom Askew, who raced 90 metres fro a try. Tyson converted and Askam were only two scores behind.
With a few minute to go before the break, Reid kicked a penalty for a half time score of Crosfield 26 Askam 12.
The visitors got off to a blistering start, when Askew collected a kick and rounded the defence, for another long-range try. Tyson converted and the gap reduced at 26-18.
Crosfields regained the upper hand, with hard work from the pack and made ground down the middle. A pinpoint kick to the corner from Reid, was collected by Taylor for his second try and 30-18 lead.
Soap continued to apply the pressure, with Moore going close, then Stanway showed his sharpness, finding a gap in the defence to crash over. Reid converted and Crosfields looked comfortable for a win at 36-18.
This lead was soon extended, as drives from Phil Brazendale and Tom Millington took the ball close to the line and quick hands moved the ball wide for Whittaker to put Hull over. 40-18
A Tom Brown break looked to bring more points as he found the supporting Cornelia, but the pass was judged forward and play brought back.
The next Crosfields attack brought another try, but this time to Askam. A dropped ball 10 metres from the Askam line was picked up by full-back Russ Bolton who raced the 90 metres for a try. Tyson converted for 40-24.
Cornelia forced a consecutive set, when stopping Askew over the try line following Reid’s kick. From the resultant set, Crosfields pummelled the Askam line. Ian Boden went close, but didn’t score, then the ball was moved quickly to the left, where Whittaker dummied through for Crosfields final try of the game. Reid converted for 46-18.
Askam didn’t throw the towel in and continued to play rugby. A sloppy high tackle gave the visitors position and were duly rewarded for their efforts, when Mark Dixon went over. Tyson again converted.
With the scores at 48-30, Askew and Boden came together after a tackle. After a bit of pulling and pushing, Askew and Reid were sin-binned on the advice of the touch-judge. Another case of mistaken identity for Reid.
Crosfields were awarded the penalty, which Cornelia neatly slotted to conclude the game and a very satisfying victory at 48-30.
Crosfields looked comfortable through most of the game and were back to playing open rugby. Three tries against the run of play for Askam did not give them enough to trouble the home side.
Reid and Stanway combined well and Whittaker joining in at full-back proved useful, whilst Hull and Cornelia in the centres were solid in defence and dangerous in attack.
The pack worked well throughout and it’s good to see the younger players stepping up, with Brown, Millington and Williams looking good in attack and Jordan Thomason having another solid game.
Stanway took the Crosfields man of the match award.
Next week Crosfields are away to Oulton Raiders.