Crusaders run in the tries to overwhelm Bishop Auckland

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North Shields Crusaders hosted Bishop Auckland thirds in the River Derwent League looking to bounce back to winning ways after last week’s disappointing defeat at Rockcliff.

Crusaders welcomed back Gareth Ruddle in the back row and Jonny Armitage at scrum-half as both played their first games after missing most of last season.

Bruce Parker moved to stand-off with Simon Morgan starting at full-back.

Simon Lee and Ricky Handa both played for the opposition to give them a full side and ensuring Crusaders earned a bonus point.

The home side started brightly and Ruddle looked like he had never been away as he scored the opening try, with Morgan successful with the conversion.

Bishop Auckland hit back with an unconverted try before Ian Hardisty scored for Crusaders with a try again converted by Morgan for 14-5.

Crusaders added two tries from Peter Finlay and Steven Thompson before the half was ended slightly early by a potentially serious neck injury to one of the opposition players.

The match moved pitches for the second half while an ambulance was awaited.

Crusaders continued their dominance with tries from Armitage, a second for Finlay, Parker and two for Morgan, who added four conversions.

A further score from Peter Finlay made it 59-5.

The final try came from Bishop Auckland to give a full-time score of 59-10 to Crusaders.

Man of the match was given to Hardisty, who just edged the decision ahead of fellow backs Morgan and Finlay.

Next week Crusaders travel to South Tyneside College Spartans.