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North Wales Crusaders conceded three tries in the final 20 minutes as Oldham nicked a late win in Wrexham.

For large parts of the game, Crusaders were the better side and made life extremely difficult for an Oldham side that have started the new League 1 season well.

With North Wales leading 14-0 on the hour mark in torrid conditions, it looked as though they were going to see out a win.

However, Lee Kershaw began the scoring for Oldham and they then struck another couple of times late on to bag the two points.  

Oldham were awarded a penalty early on and opted to kick for goal, but David Hewitt was unsuccessful and sliced it wide of the posts. 

It was Crusaders who opened the scoring when, after receiving a penalty near Oldham’s line, they assaulted the left flank and Earl Hurst managed to twist a tackle to touch down out wide. 

Ben Stead then kicked a 40-20 as the hosts continued to pile on the pressure, but they weren’t able to turn the territory into points.

Oldham were reduced to 12 men for ten minutes as Aaron Jones-Bishop was sent to the sin-bin for a spear tackle that could easily have been a red card. 

Although North Wales tried to captialise on their man advantage, Oldham stood firm in defence and made sure Crusaders’ lead was only 6-0 at half-time.

In the early stages of the second-half, Steve Roper drilled a kick into the left corner and an outstanding chase forced an error from Ritchie Hawkyard at fullback. 

They took full advantage of the field position as Brad Brennan showed his strength to turn an attempted tackle and dot the ball down on the line.

Crusaders were then awarded a penalty 20 metres out and opted to kick for goal, with Stead extending their lead to 14-0. 

Oldham had a spell of pressure afterwards, though, and Daniel Grimshaw went close, dropping the ball as he tried to ground on the line. 

However, the visitors did eventually find their way over when they floated a high kick to the left flank and Kershaw leaped highest to claim the ball, diving in at the corner. 

After Crusaders had gained a couple of repeat sets and were back in the ascendency, Kershaw intercepted Elliott Jenkins’ pass to race 80 metres upfield and cross underneath the sticks. 

And Oldham completed the comeback late on when a nice offload near the line put Hewitt over. 

Dave Eccleston was sent to the sin-bin on the full-time hooter for dangerous play to add to North Wales’ frustration. 

1 Elliott Jenkins
5 Rob Massam
4 Earl Hurst
3 Simon Atherton
2 Dave Eccleston
6 Steve Roper
7 Ben Stead
8 Warren Thompson
15 Karl Ashall
10 Callum Hazzard
11 Jack Houghton
12 Stephen Wild
13 Kenny Baker
14 Kenny Hughes
17 Brad Brennan
20 Joe Ryan
18 Jonny Walker

Tries: Hurst (14), Brennan (48)
Goals: Baker 1/1, Stead 2/2
Sin-bin: Eccleston (80 – dangerous play)

5 Ritchie Hawkyard
21 Lee Kershaw
3 Zack McComb
22 Daniel Grimshaw
2 Aaron Jones-Bishop
26 Anthony Bowman
7 David Hewitt
8 Phil Joy
9 Gareth Owen
10 Scott Law
11 Ben Callard
12 Emmerson Whittel
24 Liam Bent
13 Jack Spencer
18 Ben Davies
20 Matt Wilkinson
29 Tendai Gwaze

Tries: Kershaw (60, 68), Hewitt (74)
Goals: Hewitt 2/4
Sin-bin: Jones-Bishop (29 – spear tackle)

Referee: Matt Rossleigh
Half-time: 6-0
Penalty count: 6-4
Attendance: 426
Crusaders MOTM: Steve Roper