North Wales Crusaders hosted Gloucestershire All Golds at the Queensway Stadium in Wrexham in a 26-24 victory.

A good first half performance from the Crusades was matched by the All Golds in the second half as they both contested in a tight game.
Crusaders v All Golds
The All Golds opened the scoring after the Crusaders gave away a penalty on the half way line, making use of the good position Joe McClean barged his way over the line but the conversion was missed. The Crusaders then looked to hit back almost immediately as Wild broke the line and did well to offload only for the ball to be held up short of the line.

It wasn’t long before Gloucestershire extended their lead as Phil Cowburn crossed the whitewash in the corner in a similar manor to which they scored the first. Again the conversion was missed leaving the All Golds’ lead at eight points.

A good kick from Jamie Dallimore saw the ball bobble into the in goal area, and a good chase for the home side earned them another set from the goal line drop out. After both teams completed their sets the Crusaders managed to get their first points of the afternoon on the board as Joe Burke found the line. Tommy Johnson kicked an easy conversion from in front of the posts to reduce the visitors lead to two.

The hosts then doubled their tally as Roets broke and sent in Ryan Smith who grounded under the posts to give the Crusaders the lead for the first time in the game as Johnson converted again.

It was then the turn of Earl Hurst who finished off a lovely move for the Crusaders as he ran through the All Gold’s defence to cross the white wash. Johnson missed the conversion to bring the score to 16-8 in favour of the home side. It wasn’t long before they added to their lead again as a string of passes followed a break and the ball eventually ended up with Frankie Halton who went over, Johnson was back to his normal self as he slotted over the conversion with just six minutes of the first half remaining.

The Crusaders were pushing for another before the break as they put pressure on the All Golds defence deep in their half. Then after a great kick into the corner Andrew Oakden gathered the ball and turned to score, Johnson failed with the conversion from the far side and the teams went into the break with the home side leading 26-8.

The Crusaders were close to opening the second half scoring as Hurst nearly went over though unfortunately it wasn’t to be as he was stopped just short of the line. After both teams conceded penalties Gloucestershire made the position count as they scored before converting to reduce the Crusaders’ lead. A lovely offload from Ryan Duffy put the hosts into a good position to attack and whilst they couldn’t cross the whitewash they earned another set from a goal line drop out.

The hosts then asked questions of the All Golds defence again as a series of offloads looked to send them over for their first points of the second half only for play to be pulled back for a forward pass in the build up.

The visitors were then reduced to 12 as Jonny Leather saw yellow for a professional foul. The Crusaders went close to making use of the extra man quickly as Johnson looked to have run through the defence but the try was disallowed.

With just ten minutes remaining the scores stood at 26-14 in favour of the hosts. However Gloucestershire then reduced the Crusaders’ lead once again as welsh man Courtney Davies found the line and the try was converted to leave the difference at six points with little under five minutes to go.

With two minutes left on the clock the All Golds made use of their high kick to score in the corner but they couldn’t level the scores as they missed the conversion and the teams went in with a two point win for the home side.

1 Tommy Johnson
17 Andrew Oakden
3 Christiaan Roets
32 Earl Hurst
2 Scott Turner
30 Ryan Smith
7 Jamie Dallimore
8 Jonny Walker
14 Karl Ashall
16 Joe Burke
10 Ryan Duffy
12 Stephen Wild
31 Luke Warburton
15 Lee Hudson
35 Frankie Halton
22 Mark Hobson
9 Adam Saunders
26 Jack Hansen
4 Tommy Holland
13 Danny Rasool

Tries: Burke (18), Smith (20), Hurst (23), Halton (34), Oakden (40)
Goals: Johnson (3/5)

5 Jonny Leather
4 Chris Barlow
18 Josh Allison
3 Lewis Reece
1 Phil Cowburn
20 Courtney Davies
6 Brendan Newton
8 Ollie Purslow
33 Jayson Lombardo
10 Morgan Evans
31 Emmerson Whittel
14 Joe McClean
34 Alex Davidson
21 Rory Sharratt
29 Harrison Elliot
17 Aaron Lyons
25 Daniel Poulton
12 Bradley Kislingbury
35 Harry Kidd
21 Conan Osborne

Tries: McClean (2), Cowburn (9), Davidson (49), Davies (75) Barlow (79)
Goals: Lombardo (0/1), Davies (0/1), Newton (2/3)

Referee: J Smith