NORTH Shields Crusaders returned to league action on Saturday with last season’s runners up, Novos Centurions, the visitors to Preston Playing Fields.
It was a hard-fought game but Shields started well with the forwards giving the backs good ball. They took an early advantage with tries from Gareth Ruddle and Rhys Coltherd, with Rhys converting his own. A lack of concentration allowed Novos in for a soft try, making the half-time score 12-5 to the hosts.
The second half saw continued Shields pressure for the first 20 minutes, but they relaxed which allowed Novos in to score an unconverted try. Shields rallied and Rhys Coltherd scored under the posts giving an easy conversion to take a nine-point lead. Shields once again let the pressure off, allowing Novos to score a further try, but held on for the final ten minutes to win the game.
The team played well as a unit with the man of the match being shared three ways to Rhys Coltherd, Gareth Ruddle and Jack Nicholson.
Next week there is a break from league action with Wallsend the visitors for a friendly local derby, kick off is at 3pm.