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SHEFFIELD EAGLES 12 CELTIC CRUSADERS 22
By Ian Golden at Don Valley Stadium
In a tough competitive game between two well-matched sides, Celtic Crusaders held on for a crucial win in their first, and arguably their most difficult game, of their Northern Rail Cup campaign.
In bitterly cold conditions with a sweeping wind, the sides did well to score eight tries between them. However, the weather affected goal-kickers Jace Van Dijk and Jonny Woodcock, with Van Dijk kicking the only goal, which was in fact the very last play of the match.
Crusaders took the lead on six minutes. Following a penalty, Ian Webster, Mark Dalle Cort and Damien Quinn combined to set up Paul Ballard who went over in the corner.
They extended the lead in the 12th minute following another fine passing move, this time involving Quinn, Webster and Gareth Dean who set up Luke Dyer to go over in the opposite corner. Van Dijk missed the tricky conversion on both occasions to leave the score on 8-0.
There could have been a third try minutes later when Dalle Cort was close to the line, but the Eagles defence kept him out and Crusaders completed the set without crossing.
Eagles made their first major attack just after the 20 minute mark. They were close to scoring when Tom Buckenham