REPORT: South Wales Ironmen 6-54 North Wales Crusaders

SEVEN first-half tries helped North Wales Crusaders on their way to a 54-6 Welsh derby victory over South Wales Ironmen at Stebonheath Park.

The visitors started quickly, as with just two minutes on the clock the ball was shifted out wide to Earl Hurst who finished the move to open the afternoon’s scoring.

Next through the Ironmen’s defence was Ryan Millington who was sent through a gap by Lee Hudson to extend the Crusaders’ lead to ten points.

After a poor start, the host’s passed up on their first opportunity of the game. Having won a penalty in front of the Crusaders’ line, Connor Parker passed forward handing possession back to the Crusaders.

As frustration crept in the Ironmen were reduced to 12 men with Shaun Tennant seeing yellow following a high-tackle.

Making use of their extra man, the Crusaders crossed for their third try of the afternoon. After Hudson broke the Ironmen’s line, he offloaded the ball in the tackle before it eventually ended up with Ryan Smith who made it 16-0.

A frustrating first-half continued for the home side as they found themselves depleted further with Morgan Evans seeing yellow for a spear tackle.

Once again, the Crusaders made use of their advantage as Hudson stepped around the Ironmen’s defence before taking the ball over the line in the corner.

Moments later the visitors were in again. After breaking the line, Tommy Johnson successfully offloaded to Luke Warburton who turned before grounding the ball in the corner, making it 28-0.

As the first-half entered its final ten minutes, the Ironmen tested the Crusaders’ defence with a well timed kick into the corner. However, Dave Eccleston spotted the kick and gathered the ball to put an end to the move.

The Crusaders continued to put pressure on the South Wales line. After seeing Ryan Millington held up, Johnson managed to dart through a gap in the home side’s defence to further extend the lead.

With seconds of the half remaining, the Crusaders secured their seventh try. After weaving his way through the defence, Smith managed to brake through before crossing the whitewash for his second try of the game.

Having scored a point a minute in the first-half, the Crusaders started the second slowly. Making use of errors made by the visitors, the Ironmen continued to attack. However, they saw multiple attempts to drive their way over the line blocked by strong defence from the Crusaders.

With 60 minutes on the clock, the Crusaders looked to have opened the second-half scoring as Kenny Baker was over the line, but play was pulled back by the touch judge who ruled out the effort due to a knock-on.

However, it didn’t take long to for them to extend their lead. After Warren Thompson broke the line he found Smith in support who complete his hat-trick with a try beneath the posts.

Minutes later the Crusaders made it 50-0. After shifting the ball along the line into the corner, Tommy Johnson took it over the whitewash for his second of the afternoon.

With four minutes remaining, the Ironmen opened their account. Making use of a dropped ball from the Crusaders, the Ironmen broke before the ball ended up with Cobi Green who out ran the chasing defence to score in the corner.

Though it was their Welsh counterparts who had the final say as Warren Thompson powered his way through the defence before crashing over the line to bring the final score to 54-6 in favour of the Crusaders.

South Wales Ironmen:

27 Jack Uren

23 Sam Hodge

28 Morgan Jefferies

2 Yannic Parker

5 Curtis Ford

6 Andy Gay

1 Fraser Stroud

18 Morgan Evans

9 Connor Parker

17 Shaun Tennant

4 Christiaan Roets

10 Kade Breen

24 Connor Parker

Subs:

3 Cobi Green

13 Barrie Phillips

15 Archie Snook

19 Jamie I’ Anson

Tries: Green (76)

Goals: Stroud (1/1)

North Wales Crusaders:

1 Tommy Johnson

2 Dave Eccleston

16 Luke Warburton

4 Earl Hurst

5 Dale Bloomfield

6 Andy Moulsdale

7 Ryan Smith

10 Alex Davidson

9 Lee Hudson

32 Warren Thompson

3 Simon Atherton

24 Jack Houghton

13 Ryan Millington

Subs:

27 Aaron Moore

22 Joe Bate

17 Kenny Baker

8 Jonny Walker

Tries: Hurst (2), Millington (7), Smith (18, 39, 65), Hudson (24), Warburton (28), Johnson (38, 74), Thompson (79)

Goals: Johnson (7/10)

Half-Time: 0-40

Man Of The Match: Ryan Smith

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