MATCH REPORT – Newcastle Thunder 20 – 24 North Wales Crusaders

Newcastle Thunder’s tilt towards a place in the Betfred League 1 promotion play-offs suffered a knock-back on Sunday afternoon, as a last minute try for North Wales Crusaders consigned them to a 20-24 loss.

Nursing a two-point lead heading into the closing stages, the home side were undone on the last play of a Crusaders’ set as Kenny Baker made use of some space to score a converted try and take a result that Thunder could rue not closing out.

The afternoon started strongly for the hosts with an early converted try for Joe Brown and a second for Tom Shaw allowing them to take a 12-0 lead.

In between both of these efforts, Thunder had been applying plenty of pressure on the North Wales line and enforcing repeat sets, but were unable to convert that into a greater lead.

Having enjoyed the best of much of the half, the final three minutes saw that work effectively count for nought as two quick converted tries from the Crusaders saw the game tied at 12 all.

Starting from scratch Thunder made the best possible start to the second half as Shaw gathered a rebounding ball off the post protector for his second converted try of the day, but they were back on level terms almost immediately as Dan Norman powered over for North Wales.

Despite the attacking efforts from both sides, the scoreboard was untroubled until eight minutes from time when a penalty in front of the posts allowed Shaw to take his personal points tally for the afternoon to 16.

It would not, however, prove to be the decisive score, with that accolade going the way of the visitors and Barker’s heartbreaker for the home fans.

Thunder will now look to get back to winning ways at Kingston Park Stadium this Sunday when the host Hemel Stags with kick off at 3pm

Newcastle Thunder

Ben Dent, Mo Agoro, Tuoyo Egodo, Tyler Craig Joe Brown, Adam Brook, Tom Shaw, Jack Aldous, Ben Pointer, Liam McAvoy, Aaron Ollett, Rhys Clarke, Sam Luckley, Harry Aldous, Vincent Rennie, Connor Fitzsimmons, Evan Simons

Try Scorers – Brown, Shaw x2

Goal Scorers – Shaw x4

Attendance -637