North Wales Crusaders 36 South Wales Ironmen 12
by Sian Golden at Queensway Sports Complex
North Wales Crusaders dominated the second half against South Wales Ironmen in Wrexham on Sunday, scoring 30 points without reply.
The difference is quality in the halves was so great, one can only what must have been said in the North Wales sheds at half-time to produce such a change.
A derby of any description is always a tense affair, with the visitors looking to build on the fantastic win from the previous week against Coventry Bears.
South Wales declared their intentions within two minutes as Connor Farrer dived over the line following a fumble near the line. Paul Emanuelli’s boot was successful.
Crusaders came close to scoring one of their own but were pulled into touch 30 metres from the line.
Simon Atherton struck back for Crusaders on 10 minutes following a penalty, scrambling his way to the line. Tommy Johnson converted to bring the scores level.
Following a penalty in their favour, Ironmen scored their second through Connor Parker. Emanuelli converted.
Ironmen defended well for the rest of the half. They stopped a number of Crusaders’ attacks, twice forcing them to drop the ball as they were close to scoring. It was a deserved 12-6 lead at the break.
However there was only one side controlling things in the second half.
The scores drew level early on when Simon Atherton scored his second of the game which resulted from a penalty. Johnson converted.
The home side went ahead for the first time in the match as Kenny Baker grounded the ball. Johnson’s kick was successful
They carried on with their momentum as Baker scored his second of the afternoon, then an error by the Ironmen led to Crusaders’ Ryan Smith grounding the ball near the sticks, before another followed from the restart with Smith again running away with the ball to ground. Johnson kept up his 100% kicking record with the Ironmen fans scratching their heads as to what they’d witnessed in the second half.