BEARS GAIN HISTORIC VICTORY
NORTH WALES CRUSADERS 28 V COVENTRY BEARS 30
SUNDAY AUGUST 14TH CHESTER RUGBY CLUB
Coventry Bears picked up an historic victory at the weekend when they travelled north to Chester where they met North Wales Crusaders.
The last time the two sides met they played out a thrilling 20 all draw at the same venue.
In what was a vital fixture for both sides in their bids to reach the League 1 Shield Final against Newcastle Thunder, the home side drew first blood when Welsh international Rob Massam barrelled over in the corner to put his side in front.
The Bears weren’t going to let the hosts get away from them and Grant Beecham piled over to level the scores.
Crusaders then responded in kind when Alex Thompson and Stephen Wild put them twelve points in front.
Despite this the Bears fought back and some enthusiastic kick chasing from Beecham lead to Joe Batchelor regaining his kick and touching down to bring his side to back within one score.
With the Bears within one score at the break, the scoreline was 18-12 to the Crusaders, they knew they were in with a chance of getting themselves back into the game.
They did just that when first Jay Lobwein burrowed over from the base of the ruck to level proceedings. Then returning winger Jamahl Hunte set the game alight with an impressive individual run which saw him cover almost 120 metres to touch down in the Crusaders corner.
The momentum of the game was constantly swinging and it swung again after Hunte’s try when Crusaders drove down the field and put Ryan Smith in from close range before extending their league before Harry Aaronson chased down a kick to make it 28-22.
Once more there would be a swing in momentum when Richie Hughes chipped through and touched down himself to once more level the game with just moments left.
Then came a chance to grab the win when with two minutes left the Bears were awarded a penalty 35 metres out.
Joel James stepped up and slotted over the penalty to give his side the narrowest of leads.
The Bears played out the final minutes to pick up their first ever win against Northern opposition and to put themselves back in the hunt for a spot in the League One Shield final.
Tom Tsang said:
"Its an amazing feeling to get this win today. When we drew with Crusaders earlier in the season we felt we could have done more. To come back up here and prove it is really satisfying. Its also our first win against northern opposition since we joined the league and really demonsrates the progress we are making despite the slip up last week. Our pack took it to Crusaders through the middle all day and we were good enough to take advantage of the opportunities we created for ourselves. There were some anxious moments at the end, but the lads fully deserved the result for all the effort they put in today and throughout the season. We host Gloucestershire next week and will obviously be wanting to back this win up."
Grant Beecham (Man of the Match)
Richie Hughes (Captain)
Next and last home game is this Sunday 21st August versus Gloucester All Golds at the Butts Park Arena 3pm kick off.