Returning Crusaders give good performance despite defeat

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North Shields Crusaders played their first game in three weeks with a home county league fixture against Ashington 3rds.

A strong Ashington side arrived to Preston Playing Fields as their first team had no fixture.

Meanwhile Crusaders featured several players making their comebacks after periods out for various reasons.

Captain Fen Taylor returned in the back row alongside Cameron Pearson and Julian Jamieson. Ian Dickinson was in the second row with Paul Grant at prop. In the backs Ricky Handa was in the centre while Simon Lee returned on the wing.

The first half was a tight affair and good defence from both sides saw the only points coming from a try for Crusaders by full-back Jack West.

In the second half Ashington took the lead through a converted try

Crusaders regained the advantage when an Ashington guest player scored a try, Rob Burns was successful with the conversion to make the score of 12-7 to the hosts.

Ashington went ahead a second time with a converted try and in the last 15 minutes when Crusaders tired they made the game safe with a further couple of tries to make it 24-12.

An excellent performance from Crusaders against a strong Ashington side and it was an enjoyable game for all involved.

Next week Crusaders hope to be in action but are looking for a fixture as Wallsend Warriors are unable to field a side.