Workington Town 20 North Wales Crusaders 12

Workington Town responded to the verbal onslaught from coach Leon Pryce at Hunslet last week with a hard-fought win.

The two points had to be earned at Derwent Park against an enthusiastic Crusaders side, certainly much more competitive than their fellow countrymen from West Wales.

Pryce, unhappy at the fade out at Hunslet, which cost them precious League One points, was much happier this time – and he also praised the effort of the opposition.

“I know the problems they have down there and they looked a very keen and competitive side. But it was the way we reacted after last week which pleased me,” said Pryce.

Town had gone in at half-time, trailing 8-6 after the Crusaders scored a converted try just before the break.

Although they opened up a six-point lead through Carl Forber’s successful penalties, they did not score the crucial try until 10 minutes from the end.

North Wales, inconsistent so far this season with good and bad performances, started in really positive fashion.

They dominated early possession but all they had to show for it was a fifth-minute penalty from full-back Thomas Johnson.

It was Town who took the lead on nine minutes after good work from Jamie Doran.

A spell of pressure in the red zone appeared to have proved fruitless but, when Johnson was tackled one-on-one by Doran and stripped of the ball, the Town half-back was able to dot the ball down. Forber converted.

There could have been a crucial 10 minutes midway through the half.

Elliott Miller was shown a yellow card by referee Tom Crashley for a high-tackle when he appeared only to grab Danny Norman by the shirt collar.

During his absence, Town had to show great resolve in defence, although there were some close calls.

Jake Knox dotted down in the corner but the try was disallowed for obstruction and clever substitute Aaron Moore got over but couldn’t get the ball down.

It looked as though Town had come through the storm and would still lead at the break.

But the Crusaders got up a head of steam again and, on 39 minutes, substitute forward Brad Brennan charged through from 15 metres, swatting aside the tackles before diving over. Johnson converted for an 8-6 interval lead.

Although Forber missed his first shot at goal on 44 minutes, he was accurate with the next four attempts to put Town into a 14-8 lead by the 63rd minute.

But North Wales were still dangerous and not out of it until the crucial second Town try on 70 minutes.

Caine Barnes had the strength to take two tacklers over the line with him from close range. Forber converted.

It wasn’t quite over though. On 73 minutes, North Wales moved the ball smartly to the left and Knox scored unopposed in the corner.

Johnson missed the conversion but in the dying minutes the visitors thought they were in again.

The referee was ready to give the try when Simon Atherton gathered Joseph Lyons’ kick and went over but the touch judge was able to confirm an offside.