North Wales Crusaders scored 33 unanswered points as they turned around a 16-4 half-time deficit to beat Coventry Bears.
Although Coventry had a healthy lead at the break, they were under pressure for large spells in the first half, but they managed to scramble well and shut out a lot of Crusaders’ attacks.
After pulling a try back shortly before half-time, North Wales continued in the ascendency in the second period and showed a far more ruthless streak.
Anthony Murray’s men demonstrated plenty of character to turn the match around and it was a fairly comfortable victory in the end.
Although Crusaders dominated the early stages, they couldn’t find a way past Coventry’s defensive line.
Steve Roper dinked a kick towards the left flank and, even though Rob Massam managed to knock off a couple of tackles, he was halted in his tracks, with his attempted offload going to ground.
After dealing with sustained pressure, Coventry took the lead when Reece Rance broke down the right wing and had the pace to finish out wide.
It didn’t take long for the Bears to build on their advantage as Harvey Whiteley scooted over from acting half.
In their next set of six, Elliot Hall broke the line on halfway and managed to round Lewis Fairhurst at fullback to dive in at the left corner, taking the away side’s lead to 16-0.
With half-time approaching, however, Crusaders pulled one back as Alex Thompson intercepted a Coventry attack to touch down in the right corner.
Like in the first half, North Wales had all the possession early in the second period, but they made better use of it this time around.
The hosts added their second of the afternoon as the Bears tipped on their offload to the wing, with Massam picking up the loose ball to dot the ball down.
Callum Hazzard broke upfield from the kick-off and, despite appearing to have the pace to finish off the move, he handed the ball to Dec Gregory on his inside to be on the safe side, completing the comeback as the sides drew level at 16-16.
North Wales then took the lead for the first time in the match as Brad Brennan crashed over the line from close range.
Crusaders edged ten points in front when a looping pass to the wing found Dave Eccleston, who touched down in the corner.
And Joe Ryan wrapped the game up late on as he was put through the line at close range.
With the full-time hooter set to blow, Roper kicked a drop-goal to add further gloss on the win.
1 Lewis Fairhurst
2 Dave Eccleston
3 Alex Thompson
4 Jordan Penny
5 Rob Massam
6 Steve Roper
7 Ryan Smith
17 Jonny Walker
9 Ben Stead
18 Callum Hazzard
11 Alex Eckley
12 Stephen Wild
13 Karl Ashall
15 Dec Gregory
20 Joe Ryan
8 Callum Hazzard
10 Warren Thompson
Tries: A Thompson (38), Massam (50), Gregory (52), Brennan (64), Eccleston (71), Ryan (76)
Goals: Fairhurst 0/1, Stead 4/5
Field goal: Roper
1 Elliot Hall
2 Reece Rance
3 Kadeem Williams
4 Kameron Pearce-Paul
5 Errol Carter
6 Brad Sheridan
7 Nathan Conroy
8 Jack Ray
9 Sam Davis
10 Chris Barratt
11 Jacob Jones
12 James Mason
13 Hayden Freeman
14 Harvey Whiteley
15 Laurence Haywood
16 Euan Tiernan
17 Zak Fellows
Tries: Rance (21), Whiteley (28), Hall (30)
Goals: Hall 2/3
Referee: C Smith
MOTM: Alex Thompson – he caused plenty of problems for Coventry throughout on the right edge.