Crusaders come from behind to beat Medicals

North Shields Crusaders made the short trip up the Coast Road to play Medicals Serpents in the River Coquet League.

Three players made their debuts while former youth section players Neil McKenzie and Andy Heron returned to the club.

In the first half Medicals enjoyed the favourable conditions and the young side made up of mostly students played the game at a fast pace.

They were first on the scoreboard with a penalty, but some good defence from the Crusaders in the second quarter saw Medicals unable to add any further points and only take a slight half-time lead.

Early in the second half the Crusaders were down to 14 men for ten minutes when the referee decided to sin binned one of the players.

The Crusaders did well to hold off Medicals but the man advantage told in the last play before the sin bin period ended and Medicals crashed over for a converted try to take a 10-0 lead.

The Crusaders then started to play more confidently and on the hour mark scored a try from flanker Ben Dalton. Jack Rendles adding the conversion for 10-7.

Then ten minutes later full-back Neil McKenzie signalled his return to rugby with a second Crusaders try, again Rendles added the conversion and the Crusaders went 14-10 in front.

Medicals never gave up but good defence from the Crusaders saw them hold on to win.

An excellent performance from the Crusaders and a well deserved first win of the season.

Centre Selwyn Palmer, who made several big tackles, was named man of the match.