North Wales Crusaders A bowed out of the North West Men’s Shield after losing 32-24 to Newton Storm at Shotton Steel RFC, Deeside.
Watched by a good crowd in perfect conditions, the A team paid the price for a slow start as they conceded two early scores, but they recovered well to draw level with fine individual tries by debutant Ryan Newton and man-of-the-match Finlay Swift.
However, Newton’s big, strong running pack regained the ascendancy and, by midway through the second-half, the visitors were seemingly in control at 26-12.
Showing pace and skill, Crusaders then hit back to trail by just two points.
Dylan Rowe scored a spectacular try after excellent work by Ryan Turner and Finlay Swift.
Paul Welch, captaining the side for the first time, followed soon after by holding off several defenders to crash over the line.
Despite conceding another try, the home side threw everything at Storm in attack, but handling errors and a resolute defence kept them at bay as the visitors confirmed their passage into the last 16.
A team head coach Mike Newton praised the effort, but he felt his side lacked consistency in the game.
“We scored some outstanding tries today and I am sure that, with greater concentration, this team has the ability to match the best in Division Four,” he said.
Tries: Newton, Swift, Rowe, Welsh
Goals: Griffiths (4/4)
Crusaders A are back at Deeside Leisure Centre next Saturday in a league fixture against Ince Rose Bridge Lions, kicking off at 2.30pm.