NORTH WALES CRUSADERS left the Prince Of Wales Stadium feeling frustrated following a 36-28 defeat to the University Of Gloucestershire All Golds.
Leading 18-6 with 25 minutes gone, the Crusaders let the home side back into the game, and despite the visitors’ best efforts, the All Golds edged the game.
The Crusaders started the strongest of the two sides with their first chance coming with just eight minutes on the clock as Earl Hurst broke down the wing. However, he knocked-on in the tackle and handed Gloucestershire possession.
Moments later the Crusaders had another chance to open the scoring and on this occasion made no mistake. After Alex Thompson did well to brake the All Golds’ line, he passed inside to Ryan Smith who outran the chasing defence to score.
The visitors doubled their lead just three minutes later through Hurst who found space out wide to cross the line and give his side a 12 point advantage.
As the Welsh side continued to pile on the pressure, Jack Hansen put a high-kick into the corner. However, the All Golds did well to deal with it and came away with the ball.
After conceding a penalty following a high-tackle, the Crusaders then found themselves conceding a try. Making use of their good position, the All Golds hit back through Lewis Reece who crashed over the line to open his side’s account.
However, the visitors responded quickly through Hurst. Smith passed wide to Dale Bloomfield who did well to juggle the ball, before passing back inside to Hurst who went over for his second of the evening, giving his side an 18-6 lead.
With ten minutes of the first-half remaining, the All Golds began to hit back. As Ben Stead sent a kick into the corner it found Mo Agro who took the ball well and grounded it.
With the gap at six points, the hosts grabbed another try before half-time as Harry Kidd showed strength to drive his way through the Crusaders’ defence to score, sending the teams into half time with the scores level at 18 a piece.
The All golds started the second half as they had ended the first, with a try from Harry Kidd. Making use of his side’s position following a penalty, Steve Parry offloaded in the tackle, finding Kidd who barged his way over the line.
With the home side leading for the first time in the match, the Crusaders responded through James Dandy. After Alex Thompson offloaded in the tackle, the ball ended up with Dandy who powered his way over and reduced Gloucestershire’s lead to 24-22.
Just minutes later the Wrexham-based side retook the lead. As Thompson continued to cause problems for the All Golds he drove his way over the whitewash making it 24-28.
An exciting second half continued as the lead changed hands once again. With just under 20 minutes remaining, former Crusader, Billy Brickhill burrowed his way under the Crusaders’ from close range and gave his side a two point advantage.
Two chances followed for the visitors. First, the All Golds showed strength in defence as they held the Crusaders up over the line and that was followed by a try from Alex Thompson. However, the effort was ruled out as he was deemed to have knocked-on before he grounded the ball.
With three minutes remaining, the All Golds sealed their victory as Reece powered his way over for his second of the evening, brining the final score to 36-28 and sending the Crusaders home frustrated.
Gloucestershire All Golds:
1 Jack Mitchell
2 Mo Agoro
3 Steven Nield
4 Brad Kislingbury
5 Chris Barlow
6 Ben Stead
7 Danny Fallon
8 Ollie Purslow
9 Steve Parry
10 James Walter
11 Lewis Reece
12 Joe McLean
13 Chris Worrall
14 Billy Brickhill
15 Harrison Elliot
16 Harry Kidd
17 Maliki Lloyd-Jones
Tries: Reece (20,77), Agoro (30), Kidd (40, 42), Brickhill (61)
Goals: Stead (6/6)
North Wales Crusaders:
1 Tommy Johnson
19 Danny Price
28 Callum Mulkeen
4 Earl Hurst
5 Dale Bloomfield
26 Jack Hansen
7 Ryan Smith
8 Jonny Walker
9 Lee Hudson
32 Warren Thompson
3 Simon Atherton
11 Alex Thompson
14 James Dandy
27 Aaron Moore
10 Alex Davidson
13 Ryan Millington
23 Joe Bate
Tries: Smith (10), Hurst (13, 26), Dandy (46), Thompson (49)
Goals: Johnson (4/5)
Half-Time: All Golds 18-18 North Wales Crusaders
Man Of The Match: Alex Thompson