IT was third verses fourth in the Northumberland County River Derwent League on Saturday as North Shields Crusaders welcomed Blyth Vets to Preston Playing Fields.
Shields captain Fen Taylor returned to lead the side, which also welcomed back Mark Greenwood in the back row and Simon Lee on the wing.
Blyth started the contest well and were first on the scoresheet with a converted try.
A brighter spell from the home side resulted in a try for the Crusaders from winger Josh Roe.
Blyth scored a further converted try and a penalty to give them a half-time lead of 5-17.
In the second half the Crusaders started to show more urgency, resulting in captain Taylor scoring an unconverted try.
Blyth’s kicker missed two penalties and the visitors were reduced to 14 men with a player sent to the sin bin.
The Crusaders took advantage to score through Barry Elliott and Jack Jeffrey was successful with the conversion.
Both sets of players and supporters had thought the Crusaders snatched a draw but the referee confirmed Blyth had won.
On Saturday North Shields first XV are at home to Seaton Carew. Kick-off is at 3pm.