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Family Fun Day at final home game with London Skolars

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North Wales Crusaders’ final home match of the 2019 season against London Skolars on Saturday, September 7 will double up as a Family Fun Day.

The Family Fun Day will be held between noon and 4pm, with Crusaders’ clash with Skolars getting underway at 2.30pm.

Entry to both the Family Fun Day and match is £12 for adults, £10 for concessions and free for U16s.

There will be an assault course for adults and children, a bouncy castle, music, face painting, Captain America and Olaf mascots, arts and crafts, a tombola and much more. All activities are free of charge.

Ice cream and food from a burger van will be available for fans to buy, while candy floss is free of charge.

Report: West Wales Raiders 16-56 North Wales Crusaders

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North Wales Crusaders kept the pressure on Workington Town in the race for the play-offs as they completed the Welsh derby double over West Wales Raiders.

From the first minute until the last, Crusaders were the superior side and, after finding themselves 16-0 up inside the opening 22 minutes, it was always going to be a case of how many points they would go on to record.

It was clear that West Wales had made strides since the meeting earlier in the season at Queensway Stadium, but North Wales stuck to their game plan and gradually wore down the Raiders.

Anthony Murray’s men had a lot of joy up the middle, with the forward pack proving too much for the Llanelli side to handle throughout the afternoon.

Crusaders opened the scoring when Ben Stead picked up the ball at acting half and scooted over the line.

It didn’t take long for North Wales to build on their lead as Dave Eccleston took the first carry from a scrum, shrugging off a number of tackles to crash over.

The third score of the day came through Warren Thompson, who hit a nice line to break through the Raiders’ defence and touch down next to the posts.

West Wales did hit back, however, with a real inventive piece of play.

Welsh international Steve Parry collected the ball on the last, hacked the ball forward with his boot to keep the play alive and a nice offload near the line put Mitchell Shaw over.

But Crusaders were soon back in the ascendency and Eccleston thought he was in for his second, only to be pushed into touch by a fine last-ditch tackle from Parry.

Steve Roper did add another for the visitors, though, as he threw an outrageous dummy to fool West Wales’ defence and dive over.

Eccleston then managed to grab his second, collecting a looping pass to the wing from Lewis Fairhurst to dot the ball down in the corner.

On the half-time hooter, Roper lofted a high kick to the left flank, West Wales dropped the ball in the in-goal area and Alex Eckley gratefully collected to score.

Crusaders picked up in the second half where they’d left off in the first and Dec Gregory’s nice cut-out pass put Joe Ryan over from close range.

After being awarded a number of penalties, the Raiders found themselves camped on North Wales’ line for the next ten minutes or so, but they couldn’t take advantage and the away side made them pay.

A simple drop-off pass from Roper put Dante Morley-Samuels over down the right flank.

Rob Massam then got in on the act as she showed brute strength to knock off a couple of attempted tackles, diving in at the left corner.

But West Wales hit back and crossed for two tries in the space of three minutes.

Parry scooted over from acting half, before the Raiders kept the ball alive with numerous offloads for Archie Snook to touch down.

However, North Wales soon took control again and Massam added his second, beating every man in front of him to bulldoze his way over next to the sticks.

Fairhurst rounded off the scoring as he collected Earl Hurst’s flick pass to score in the left corner.

RAIDERS
Phil Cowburn
Sam Baker
Ash Bateman
Archie Snook
Rowland Kaye
Steve Parry
Matthew Morgan
Aneurin Walker
Mitchell Shaw
Dalton Desmond-Walker
Dan Maiden
Gioele Celerino
Morgan Evans
Subs:
Alan Pope
Joe McClean
Callum Mulkeen
Liam Rice-Wilson

Tries: Shaw (28), Parry (72), Snook (75)
Goals: Cowburn 1/3

CRUSADERS
Lewis Fairhurst
Dave Eccleston
Dante Morley-Samuels
Earl Hurst
Rob Massam
Steve Roper
Elliott Jenkins
Brad Brennan
Ben Stead
Warren Thompson
Alex Eckley
Matt Reid
Alex Thompson
Subs:
Dec Gregory
Jonny Walker
James Tilley
Joe Ryan

Tries: Stead (10), Eccleston (13, 39), W Thompson (22), Roper (33), Eckley (40), Ryan (47), Morley-Samuels (60), Massam (68, 77), Fairhurst (80)
Goals: Stead 3/5, Roper 1/3, Fairhurst 2/3

Referee: Bradley Milligan
HT: 6-30
Attendance: 272
MOTM: Dave Eccleston – the winger continued his recent string of excellent performances, making plenty of metres going forward and grabbing two tries.

Preview: West Wales Raiders v North Wales Crusaders

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North Wales Crusaders travel to Llanelli tomorrow to face West Wales Raiders in the Welsh derby.

Below is all of the information you need to know ahead of the clash.

UP FRONT 

Crusaders will be aiming to back up their 33-16 victory over Coventry Bears last time out.

After finding themselves 16-0 down, North Wales scored 33 unanswered points to turn the game around and run out comfortable winners in the end.

West Wales, meanwhile, have lost their two outings.

Following their first win of the season against Coventry, the Raiders have been beaten at home by Newcastle Thunder and away at Workington Town.

LAST TIME OUT (CRUSADERS 70-8 WEST WALES – APRIL 2019)

Crusaders got their League 1 campaign up and running as they picked up their first points by thrashing the Raiders in the Welsh derby.

When West Wales took the lead within the first ten minutes, you wondered whether it was going to be another frustrating afternoon for North Wales.

But the home side showed exactly what they’re capable of, especially when they bring their more effective players into their attack, and dominated for the remainder of the game, inflicting the biggest defeat of the campaign on the Raiders up until that point.

COACH COMMENTS

Read Anthony Murray’s thoughts ahead of the Welsh derby.

THE SQUAD

Murray has named his 19-man squad for the trip to Llanelli.

FAN INFORMATION

Crusaders’ Supporters Club are running a coach to West Wales, leaving The Turf at 9am and priced at £24 per person.

Visit their Facebook page for full details.

Crusaders’ squad for head-to-head with Coventry

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North Wales Crusaders head coach Anthony Murray has named his squad for Sunday’s clash with Coventry Bears at Queensway Stadium.

After making his debut in last weekend’s defeat at Hunslet, Jordan Penny keeps his place in the squad.

Simon Atherton and Matt Reid are both unavailable for selection, while Kenny Baker and Earl Hurst remain sidelined with injuries.

Alex Thompson, who last appeared for Crusaders at Oldham a couple of weeks back, is in the 19.

Crusaders’ squad in full: Karl Ashall, Brad Brennan, Dave Eccleston, Alex Eckley, Lewis Fairhurst, Dec Gregory, Callum Hazzard, Rob Massam, Jordan Penny, Steve Roper, Joe Ryan, Ryan Smith, Ben Stead, Alex Thompson, Warren Thompson, Jonny Walker, Stephen Wild.

Tickets for the clash with Coventry are priced at £12 for adults, £10 for concessions and £2 for U16s.

Anthony Murray: “It’s one we’ll be setting our sights on”

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North Wales Crusaders head coach Anthony Murray has tasked his players with finishing the 2019 campaign as strongly as they can.

Although Crusaders can still make the play-offs, they currently sit five points behind Workington Town in sixth place, meaning they arguably need to win all of their remaining matches to reach the knock-out stages.

With four matches left to go, Murray is targeting as many points as possible between now and the end of the season.

“The aim is simple: we need to finish the season well,” he said.

“We might not end up achieving that play-off spot, which is what we set out to try and achieve at the start of the year.

“But, if we do end up missing out, I’ll still be really pleased as we’ve been in that fight pretty much all year and it’s only a couple of close defeats that will have cost us.

“I knew the division would be so tight this year.”

On Sunday’s opponents Coventry Bears, Murray said: “They’ll want to come up here and get their season back on track as they’ve lost their last three games.

“That’s sometimes the worst time to play a team, coming off the back of a few defeats, but we’re in the same position.

“It’s one we’ll be setting our sights on, as we do with every game.”

Tickets for the clash with Coventry are priced at £12 for adults, £10 for concessions and £2 for U16s.