NORTH WALES CRUSADERS Under 12’s continued their impressive development with a victory over Leigh East last weekend.

Report by Allen Jones:

On a baking hot Saturday afternoon in Leigh, playing on the clubs premier 3G pitch and in front of a very healthy crowd, these two teams put on a feast of a game.  From minute one, both team were up for the contest and what a contest it was and a great advert for junior Rugby League.

The Crusaders were quickly into their game and forced an early error from the home team deep in their own 20 metre area.  From the ensuing scrum, Loose Forward Charlie Jones broke from the scrum base and powered over from 10 metres out. Iwan Hughes added the extras 6 – 0 up to the Cru boys.  Leigh are a pretty handy side though and back they came with a neat shift to the left and crossing for a converted try, 6 – 6.  Crusaders continued to press hard, the pack gave them good go forward and when the ball was shifted the home defence had to be on their mettle.  It was Charlie Jones who gave the Crusaders the advantage once again, powering down the blind side for a score which Hughes converted once again. 12 – 6 to the Crusaders.  Back came Leigh once again with an unconverted try to make it 12 – 10 to Crusaders at the half time break, and a thoroughly deserved advantage for a great first half performance.

The second half started with Leigh very much on the front foot and with the Cru boys feeling the rough end of the referee’s whistle, they were on the end of an increasing penalty count against them, but their tackle and cover defence was holding comfortably.  It took a handling error in their own 20 to hand Leigh the opportunity to take the lead.  From the scrum Leigh used their good field position to engineer a lovely try in the corner which was converted to give them the lead for the first time at 16 -12.  The young Cru boys found their focus again and began to claw their way back into the game. Strong forward drives gave the half backs enough time and space for a lovely right to left shift giving Full Back Iwan Hughes just enough space to show his pace and finishing ability to score a great team try. Hughes himself added the extras, 18 – 16 to the Cru with only a few minutes on the clock.

Bevan Williams though he had the game done and dusted as he charged over from a neat short Josh Williams pass, only for the ref to rule it our as he had done earlier for a Iwan Hughes score, both decisions looked harsh on the Cru boys.  The Cru were then backed up by three consecutive penalties against them, putting East within reach of the try line but some strong, aggressive and relentless Cru defence held them out and finally forced a handling error and the ref had to blow for full time.  Elation for the Cru boys and a memorable 18 – 16 away win at Leigh East.

Crusaders Head Coach, Allen Jones was full of praise for his charges. “Firstly, this we a tremendous game of Junior Rugby League, played hard with not an inch given by either team” said Jones “The last few minutes showed what character these boys have got.  They were on the wrong side of the ref but they kept turning up for each other in defence, showing real guts, determination and sheer bloody mindedness to hold East out” Jones added.  “They will have learnt so much from this contest, and it was some contest, and it should stand them well for future games. A fantastic team performance” said Jones.

The Crusaders Coaches would like to thank all parents and family who made the trip to Leigh for their fantastic support.  Thanks also to all involved with Leigh East U12s, and we wish them all the very best for the remainder of the 2018 season.