MATCH REPORT: Old Crossleyans 3 West Hartlepool 12

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If West Hartlepool go on to gain promotion from North One East they may well look back on the 12-3 victory in the pouring rain at Halifax as the defining moment of the season.

Distinctly second best to Old Crossleyans in the first half they managed to keep the home side from scoring anything other than a penalty, and then proceeded to grind their way back into contention in the second half to end worthy winners.

Promotion rivals Percy Park also won and their try bonus point against Team Northumbria takes them two points clear of West who have a game in hand.

On a greasy surface West looked to attack at pace whenever they got the opportunity and it was their better ball retention which eventually got the better of their hosts.

They were awarded a penalty try to lead 7-3 before skipper JOnny Boatman sealed things late on.

West Director of Rugby Kevan Oliphant had predicted a hard game. He said: “We knew Old Crocs were a good side on their own tight pitch, and as soon as we saw the weather forecast we knew it wouldn’t be a pretty game.

“When we got the ball we tried to put pace on the game, and once we had weathered their early attacks I felt we would go onto win.

“It wasn’t easy by any means but if you stop a side from scoring tries you deserve to win.”

SEE Monday’s Mail for full story.