Short-numbered Crusaders beaten by Bishop Auckland 3rds

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North Shields Crusaders travelled to Bishop Auckland 3rds in the Northumberland River Derwent League with only 13 players.

The home side gave them a player to make it 14-a-side contest.

Crusaders welcomed back Dave Alder for a guest appearance while he was up for the weekend and he filled in at prop. Captain Fen Taylor returned in the back row and Jonny Armitage moved to scrum-half.

The first half saw Crusaders enjoy the slight slope advantage but it was Bishop Auckland who were first on the board with an unconverted try.

They added a second to take a 10-0 lead before Crusaders showed what they could do in the backs as the guest centre put Matthew Padden in to score a try to make it 10-5 at the interval.

The second half got off badly when Bishop Auckland scored a converted try to extend their lead to 17-5.

Crusaders hit back with a try from Duncan Wells which was converted by Padden before a third try from the hosts looked to put the game out of reach of Crusaders.

Toward the end of the match Fen Taylor covered back and caught a high ball but then slipped it to the hosts’ man of the match who scored under the posts for the final score to make it 27-12 to Bishop Auckland.

Crusaders’ man of the match was awarded to fly-half Kyle Wharton for his work in defence.

Thanks went to Bishop Auckland for lending a player to make it even sides and to Alder travelling up from London for the game.

Crusaders: A Wilson, A Millar, D Alder, D Kinsey, C Pearson, P Blair, P Dyers, F Taylor, J Armitage, K Wharton, M Padden, D Shield, D Wells.