REPORT: Coventry Bears 13-36 North Wales Crusaders

NORTH WALES CRUSADERS overcame a poor first half performance to seal a 36-13 victory over Coventry Bears at the Butts Park Arena.

The visitors got off to a quick start, as they opened the scoring with just four minutes gone. After breaking the line, James Dandy found Taylor Prell in support who finished the move by crossing the whitewash beneath the posts.

Despite opening the scoring, a poor period followed for the Welsh side.

Coventry’s first try came with 10 minutes on the clock as Jordan Gale collected a high kick before grounding the ball, only for the score to be ruled out for a knock-on in the build up.

The home side’s next effort came moments later as Jack Morrison found himself held up over the line, keeping the score at 6-0 in the Crusaders’ favour.

As the Bears continued to pile on the pressure they earned a repeat set. A perfectly weighted kick from Gale landed in the hands of Crusaders’ Danny Price who was then taken into touch by the chasing Coventry defence, giving them possession.

Despite holding the hosts out for over 20 minutes, the Crusaders couldn’t keep them out much longer. After losing the ball once again, the Crusaders were this time made to pay as as Jamahl Hunte made a fantastic run down the wing before grounding the ball to level the score at 6-6.

With just over 10 minutes of the first-half remaining, Coventry took the lead. Following a good attacking set from the Bears, Gale slotted a drop-goal over to give the home side a 7-6 lead.

As the first half entered its final few minutes, the Crusaders re-took the lead through a well worked try. After receiving the ball out wide, Simon Atherton stepped inside before passing to Tommy Johnson who ran through a gap in the Coventry defence to score, sending the teams into the break with the score at 7-12.

Looking to make amends for their poor first half performance, the visitors started brightly. After a good run from Atherton had put the Crusaders in a good attacking position, Joe Bate made use of the ball as he crashed over the line from close range.

The Crusaders added to their lead with 55 minutes on the clock. As they attacked the home side’s line, Danny Price sent a looping pass out wide to Earl Hurst who ran the ball over in the corner to take the score to 7-24.

Minutes later the Crusaders were in again. After shifting the ball along the line, it ended up with Simon Atherton who darted through a gap in the home side’s defence to score.

As the game entered the final ten minutes, the Crusaders extended their lead. After breaking through the Coventry line, Prell offloaded to Johnson who in turn found Danny Price who scored.

With one minute remaining the home side pulled one back as Matt Reid scored under the posts, making the final score 13-36.

Coventry Bears:

Charlie O’ Mara

Michael Russell

Hayden Freeman

Luke Frizou

Jamahl Hunte

Jordan Gale

Brad Delaney

Bradley Brennan

Zak Williams

Jack Morrison

Matt Reid

Chris Barratt

Paddy Jones

Subs:

Harry Champman

James Kelly

John Aldred

James Geurtjens

Tries: Hunte (21), Reid (79)

Goals: Delaney (2/2)

Drop-Goal: Gale (29)

North Wales Crusaders:

1 Tommy Johnson

2 Taylor Prell

3 Simon Atherton

4 Earl Hurst

5 Dale Bloomfield

19 Danny Price

7 Ryan Smith

17 Kenny Baker

14 James Dandy

32 Warren Thompson

16 Luke Warburton

24 Jack Houghton

13 Ryan Millington

Subs:

27 Aaron Moore

— Alex Whalley

8 Jonny Walker

22 Joe Bate

Tries: Prell (4), Johnson (38), Bate (45), Hurst (55), Atherton (60), Price (72)

Goals: Johnson (6/6)

Attendance: 422

Man Of The Match: Simon Atherton

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