NORTH WALES CRUSADERS fell to a 22-14 defeat at the hands of Whitehaven as the visitors took revenge for a home defeat earlier in the season.

Crusaders defended well but put themselves under pressure as Whitehaven took two points back to Cumbria.

The Crusaders were gifted an early opportunity as Whitehaven failed to catch the kick-off gifting the home side a fantastic position to attack from. However, Whitehaven stood strong in defence to keep the game scoreless.

With seven minutes gone the visitors opened the scoring. Having sustained early pressure from Crusaders, Whitehaven made their field position count as they found numbers out wide leading to Jordan Burns flying over in the corner.

Crusaders hit back almost instantly as they made use of a free play as a Ryan Smith kick was chased down by Olly Ashall-Bott who showed his pace to score and give the hosts a 6-4 lead.

Moments later Crusaders extended their advantage after opting to kick a penalty which Brad Walker slotted between the posts.

Whitehaven looked to have re-took the lead with 20 minutes on the clock only for play to be pulled back for a forward pass. The visitors then passed up on another opportunity to take the lead as a pass out wide passed the winger and flew into touch.

The visitors were then reduced to 12 men for ten minutes following a late, off the ball challenge on Smith. However, minutes later Dale Bloomfield saw yellow for an off the ball incident taking both sides down to 12 men.

It was Whitehaven who started the second-half strongly, taking advantage of a lapse in concentration from the home side as Burns ran the length of the field to score.

As they looked for a route back into the game, the Crusaders were awarded a penalty in front of the Whitehaven line. Making use of the good position Kenny Baker powered his way through the Haven defence to take the score to 14-16 with 20 minutes remaining.

Five minutes later Whitehaven extended their lead on the back of sustained pressure on the Crusaders’ line as Josh Eaves darted over from marker on the last tackle.

Despite a late effort the Crusaders failed to pull the game back as Whitehaven secured the points with a 22-14 final score.