NORTH WALES CRUSADERS suffered a 31-4 defeat at the hands of second-placed York City Knights at the Queensway Stadium in the Betfred League One.

Starved of possession in good areas of the field, the Wrexham-based side were punished for their errors as York maintained their good form.

The Crusaders were victims of their own downfall in the first-half as errors in attack and ill discipline saw them put under pressure for large periods of the half.

Having held out several attempts from the visitors, the Crusaders’ defence was eventually broken with 18 minutes gone as a quick play of the ball saw Ash Robson sent over in space in the corner.

As they continued to deal with the increasing pressure applied by the York attack, the Crusaders came up with a number of outstanding efforts in defence, holding York over the line, before taking them into touch in the following set.

In a rare venture into the the York half, the Crusaders failed to make use of their position. As they looked to play around the York defence, a pass from Tommy Johnson was too strong and rolled into touch.

With eight minutes of the first-half remaining, York opted to kick a penalty to extend their lead to six points.

The visitors doubled their lead moments later as several offloads on the last tackle fell kindly before the ball was shifted wide to Will Oakes who crossed the line in the corner.

York added another point to their lead on the hooter as Connor Robinson fired a drop-goal over the posts to send the teams into the break with York leading 13-0.

The hosts started the second-half with another opportunity to attack the York line. However, they couldn’t beat the Knights’ defence as Earl Hurst was dragged into touch. 

With 56 minutes on the clock York crossed for their third of the afternoon. After winning back-to-back penalties, the Knights made good use of their position as Ben Cockayne crashed over the whitewash from close range.

Minutes later the visitors capitalised on another Crusaders error. After the home side failed to deal with York’s kick on the last, the visitors made them pay as they found a gap in the Crusaders defence to extend their lead to 25-0.

As York began to pull away, they ran in another score as Andrew Ellis ran at the Crusaders’ defence before reaching out to ground the ball.

A late conciliation try for the Crusaders came courtesy of Dale Bloomfield who leapt to gather a cross field kick from Joe Lyons before grounding the ball. 

Anthony Murray’s Crusaders side will now look to return to winning ways next Saturday when they travel to the capital to face London Skolars.