A LATE Crosfields rally proved to be in vein as they fell 22-14 at home to Oulton Raiders.

Soap slipped from 8-0 to 20-0 behind in a nine-minute spell midway through the second half but crossed for tries through Sam Hickey and Tom Ashurst, twice, to leave a nervy ending for the visitors.

Ashurst’s second score was particularly eye-catching, stemming from a precise low kick to the corner by Luke Walker.

But Oulton landed a late penalty to ensure they left with the win, adding to the point they achieved in the 18-18 draw with Crosfields in the reverse fixture.

Soap coach Rob Campbell said: “We were flat, Oulton deserved the win and punished us.

They were defensively very organised and their tackling was the key to the win.

“We weren’t switched on and this division has six middle teams that can win on the day.

Positives were Sam Vernon’s debut and our heads never dropped. At 0-20 most teams would have folded but we stayed in the fight.”

Crosfields: Luke Walker, Nathan Taylor, Tom Ashurst, Ben Lomax, Aaron Holliday; Ben Steele, Brad Stanway; Tom Millington, Jack Williams, Matt Barber, Alex Clutterbuck, Tom Smith, Sam Hickey. Subs: Jack Nolan, Tom Brown, Sam Vernon, Elliot Liku.

Sixth-placed Soap are away to table-toppers Waterhead on Saturday, kick-off 2.30pm.