On Sunday Crusaders U16's had their first home game against Cumbrian outfit Lowca, in the North East Cup.
The weather didn't do either team any favours, very soggy but thankfully warm.
Crusaders were able to field 17 players, of which 10 players played their first game of Rugby League. Full credit to hard working coach Gavin Cole who has pulled a good unit of lads together when things weren't looking good in the early weeks of the season.
Lowca started the 1st half and applied pressure from the start, Crusaders managed to hold them out and, applied there own pressure with strong runs. Lowca managed to pull Crusaders defence to 1 side then exploted the wing and ran in their 1st try in at the 6min mark which was converted, 0-6.
Crusaders didn't give an inch in defence and tackled really well. Unfortunately, a few times they took too long to release which gave Lowca set repeats. Crusaders showed Lowca they could attack as well as defend, pushing hard but falling short a couple of times on the line.
For all their hard work, unfortunately Crusaders were not rewarded and went in 0-16 down at the break.
Crusaders kicked off the second half and like Lowca did in the first half, they applied pressure by running hard and direct. Harry King got Crusaders on the scoresheet a few minutes in, 4-16, unfortunately the conversion was missed. Lowca didn't seem to be attacking as strong as 1st half, whereas Crusaders seemed to be stronger, attacking and defending well, as though having more to prove.
Harry King managed to slot another try and Keiran got the kick, 10-16. With 6mins left Lowca played hard and strong keeping Crusaders out as they attempted to get another try themselves, a massive shout out to Crusaders defence for not allowing this to happen.
Post match, Lowca coach Tommo was very complimentary of the Crusaders players and highlighted that after few more games and they will be a fantastic team who can control some strong performances.
Final Score Cusaders 10-16 Lowca
Well done to debutants Alfie Brown, Kieran Knight, Louis Humble, James Braithwaite, Conall Stone, Harry Hammond, Brayden Lambert, Harry Seagrove, Jack Sygrove and Thomas Smith.
Lowca Men of the Match went to Harry King, Owen-Tyler Cole and Noah Bangura. Coach Gav was over the moon with what he saw. Great Rugby League despite the weather.
Thank you to Mark who helped set up the pitch pre match. Thanks to Samantha for prepping the chilli and pasta, yes we know it generally goes with rice, but apparently this is a sore subject, and is not to mentioned!