Cranleigh relinquished their grip at the top of Surrey 2 following a 34-28 home defeat against third-placed Old Blues on Saturday.
Cranleigh were caught cold by Old Blues in the first 15 minutes, finding themselves 14-0 down.
After only three minutes the Old Blues’ fly half saw a large gap between the Cranleigh centres and sprinted through to score under the posts. This was duly converted.
After 14 minutes, from a line out, Old Blues expertly drove a maul from the 22 with very little opposition, scoring half way out and converting.
Cranleigh then came to life and attacked and after 20 minutes found a gap in Old Blues’ centres and scored.
This was duly converted but, from a line out, Old Blues repeated another excellent maul to score, giving them a 21-7 lead at half-time.
Cranleigh gave the supporters some joy after only four minutes of the second half
When Greg Cushing made a break and the ball moved quickly out to Oli Sutton to score which was converted.
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For a time, it did look as if Cranleigh could reduce the deficit further but, again, the Old Blues’ fly half found a gap and the ball eventually went out to their flying winger who could not be caught - making the score 14-28.
Throughout the game Old Blues were disrupting the Cranleigh line out and the home team’s discipline started to let them down. Querying the referee’s calls did not help.
Old Blues were given a penalty in a decent position for not rolling away after the ruck was formed and this was duly converted.
After 30 minutes Cranleigh did pressure Old Blues and a hectic last 12 minutes saw Charlie Treasure score, only for the Crane to concede another penalty under the posts.
With two minutes to go Cranleigh then camped on the Old Blues’ line and Curtis Beecroft crashed over to score, also making an excellent conversion, leaving the final score 28-34 to Old Blues.
Cranleigh were always playing catch up after the first 15 minutes. Old Blues were well prepared and played as a team throughout.
Cranleigh hope their injury list improves, as well as their discipline. Another difficult game awaits away at fifth-placed Old Wimbledonians next Saturday.