Crusaders defeat Spartans

North Shields Crusaders overcame South Tyneside College Spartans in a friendly match after Wallsend were unable to field a side for the scheduled county league fixture.

Crusaders were led by Gary Crombie at scrum-half, Simon Morgan returned at full-back and Bruce Parker was in the centre.

In the pack, Dave Kinsey returned in the second row while Iain Finlay started his first game in the back row alongside Sam Condie and Dave Griffith-Owen.

The first half was saw the two sides evenly matched, and Crusaders took two penalty opportunities through Rob Burns to take a 6-0 lead.

They lost the lead before half-time when Spartans scored a converted try.

Crusaders lost prop Iain Pearson at half-time and reshuffled with David Shield moving to the front row and Richard Sampson, another back, coming on at flanker.

The home side started to play better in the second half and a first try was scored by Richard Sampson.

In the latter stages they took control and kept Spartans in their own half, and a second try came from Dan Quine, who was also successful with a fancy drop kick for the conversion for a final score of 18-7 to Crusaders.

The joint men of the match were awarded to hooker Alan Millar and Iain Finlay in his pack debut.

Next week the Crusaders conclude their county league season with a home match as Blyth 3rds XV are the visitors, kick-off 3pm.