CRUSADERS V WEST HARTLEPOOL 13th Sept ’08

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Having missed out the previous week when they should have opened with the visit of ‘Boro, weather got the better of the pitches. Crusaders got their first Candy League points of the season with a deserved home win over West Hartlepool.

Tries from Ollie Barker, Chad Hawley and that old war horse, Martin Plummer, were complemented by a conversion and a penalty from scrum half George Graham.

Barker finished well out wide after some good hands through the backs from a scrum.  Plummer got an interception try (some say it was the late effects of a viagra tab that livened him up).  He took his chance from a move by the WH back just outside their 22, handed off the full back and won a foot race against a winger and centre to touch down.

In the second half a penalty added by young Graham was followed by Dan Holmes shooting into the WH line to intercept a ball, then passing to Plums who drew the defence before releasing Chad Hawley who palmed off his opposite number before galloping hald the length of the field for a good wing try.

A large front five of Martin Burnett, Scott Squires, Adam Spiers, skipper Richard (Hess) Liddle & amp; hooker Carl Wills, always had the WH pack on the back foot in the scrummage.

It was evident that, WH 1st XV having been promoted last season, that there are now a number of that XV domiciled in their two’s.  They very obviously fit with a lot of pace at full back and on the wing but the  Crusaders defence was resolute throughout, only being caught out on a couple of occasions on the break in open play.  They managed two tries from ball turned over by our mistakes.

A good performance at 9 from young Graham and Chad Hawley on the wing.  Olllie Barker was outstanding in the back row, ably assisted by Richard Bearchell and Paddy (wotshisname).

A good start to the league campaign.