Coventry Bears Rugby League
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Bears gain draw in North Wales Thriller


North Wales Crusaders 20
Coventry Bears 20

Sunday 3rd July , Chester RFC 3pm kick off

The Bears travelled to Chester on Sunday seeking to cause an upset and secure there first away win against northern opposition.

The first half was close with mistakes from both sides but the Bears took an early lead as centre Matt Reid crossed the whitewash with just two minutes gone. It was a well worked move that saw Reid go over in the left corner.

Moments later the Bears doubled their advantage, following a period where the Crusaders saw little of the ball, wing Jason Bass going over to give the Bears an eight point lead.

Despite their earlier mistakes, Crusaders managed to hit back with two tries of their own before the break.

First, Luke Warburton found his way over the line. The Bears conceded a penalty giving Crusaders a good position to attack from and they did as Warburton crossed in the corner.

With just one minute to go Stephen Wild crossed the whitewash for the hosts to give them the lead. It was another nice move from the Crusaders that resulted in Wild going over to give the home side a 10-8 lead going into half-time.

The second half started in a similar way to the first. However, Crusaders did manage to extend their lead with five minutes gone as Phil Joseph – dual reg’ from Salford Red Devil's Super League side – barged his way over the line to bring the deficit up to eight points.

It didn’t take too long before the Crusaders were over again. This time it was Tommy Johnson who showed good strength as he forced his way over the whitewash to score.

The Bears responded with their third try of the game in powerful fashion as Coventry local Alex Beddows charged through and showed great strength as the Bears made good use of the position following a penalty.

With minutes to go the Bears drew level as power house prop Jack Morrison crossed the whitewash following a period of intense attack. Despite late attempts from the Crusaders they couldn’t alter the scoreline and it finished 20-20.

The Bears were disappointed but gaining our first point against an established northern club is a huge positive going into the super 8s phase of the season after next week.

Bears man of the match was prop Alex Beddows for a barnstorming performance.

Next weekend the Bears play South Wales Scorpions at the Butts Park Arena 3pm kick off on Saturday 9th July.

Bears Head Coach Tom Tsang said:

Im really proud of my boys today as that is the first competition point we have won against a Northern side, since we came into this league and is further proof of our progression this year-  we lost by 40pts to the same side 12 months ago. The character we showed in the second half to come back from 20-8 down was fantastic to see and we really worked hard for each other, especially considering Crusaders fielded four Super League players on dual registration from Salford. But having said that we had at least 4 clear cut chances to score tries in the final 20 minutes - opportunities we didnt take. We will take a lot of confidence from this going into next weeks match and the second half of the season.

North Wales Crusaders:

1 Tommy Johnson

21 Andrew Oakden

3 Simon Atheron

24 Jake Bibby

5 Rob Massam

6 Ryan Smith

7 Andy Moulsdale

8 Jonny Walker

14 Lee Hudson

20 Kenny Baker

13 Luke Warburton

12 Stephen Wild

9 Billy Brickhill


15 Jack Hansen

25 Ryan Lannon

19 Olli Kransniqi

16 Phil Joseph

Tries: Warburton (19) Wild (39) Joseph (45) Johnson (52)

Goals: Johnson (2/4)

Coventry Bears:

1 Charlie O’Mara

2 Jason Bass

21 Eddie Medforth

4 Mat Reid

5 Jono Milizewski

6 Joel James

7 James Redman

8 Alex Beddows

9 Jay Lobwein

10 Jack Morrison

11 Liam Thompson

12 Chris Barratt

13 Grant Beecham


14 Danny Price

18 Andy Unsworth

22 John Aldred

19 Terry O’ Sullivan

Tries: Reid (2) Bass (8) Beddows (60) Morrison (79)

Goals: James (2/4)

Referee: A Sweet

Half-Time: 10-8

Attendance: 359

Picture courtesy NW Crusaders

Bears Media