NORTH WALES CRUSADERS ended Whitehaven’s seven game unbeaten run as they ran four tries past the Cumbrian outfit to secure a 25-22 victory.
Murray’s side battled hard to earn a deserved two points, and secure back-to-back league victories as they look to climb towards the Betfred League One play-off places.
It was the home side who started stronger as they looked to test the Crusaders’ defence on two occasions, being held out once before solid defence from the Welsh side saw them pushed into touch.
Rewarded for their efforts in defence, the visitors opened the scoring with 12 minutes on the clock as Tommy Johnson broke and found Steven Roper in support who crossed beneath the posts.
Moments later the Crusaders doubled their advantage as Joe Lyons spread a ball out wide to Simon Atherton who in turn found Gavin Conroy to finish the move in the corner.
As Whitehaven worked their way back into the game, they put pressure on the Crusaders defence once again, and wasted an opportunity to open their account after knocking-on in front of the line.
With the home side losing their discipline, the Crusaders took advantage as Johnson converted a penalty taking the lead to 12-0.
With just three minutes of the first-half remaining, Whitehaven crossed for their first of the match as Callum Phillips darted over from close range as the home side made use of their good position following a penalty.
The second-half scoring was opened by Haven with nine minutes gone as Chris Taylor collected a well weighted grubber kick before grounding the ball over the whitewash.
Six minutes later the Crusaders restored their six point advantage as Ryan Smith collected a high-kick into the corner from Brad Walker before running the ball over the line taking the score to 18-12.
Five minutes later the visitors were in once again. A strong run from Kenny Baker saw him drive his way through the Haven defence to double the Wrexham-based side’s advantage.
As the game entered its final ten minutes, Walker successfully kicked a drop-goal to put the Crusaders 25-18 up.
The hosts set up a tense final few minutes as Dan Abraham crossed the whitewash in the corner to bring the Crusaders’ lead down to three points.
However, the visitors held strong in defence to claim two vital points as they look to push up the Betfred League One table.