Ryan Gould at Glyndwr University Racecourse Stadium

Crusaders advanced through to the fourth round of the Tetley’s Challenge Cup with a comfortable victory over amateur club Pilkington Recs.

A strong end to the first half by Crusaders ensured that there was daylight between themselves and Recs, as they went in to half-time with the game already wrapped up.

And it was a good job that they did; the Recs put in a fantastic display after the break, losing the second period just 22-14 as well as creating various other opportunities.

The amateur side started the game well but, when an overlap formed on the right edge for Crusaders, Greg Wilde crossed for a try on debut to open the scoring.

A quick response came from Pilkington, though, as a great cut-out pass from Danny Lynch found Stanley, who sent Knapper in at the left corner.

After a number of penalties took Crusaders upfield, Dallimore increased his side’s lead as he darted at the line and showed too much strength for the Recs’ defence.

Then, Owain Griffiths, who was playing against the club where he first started out as a junior, scored next to the posts before Dallimore crossed for a second, breaking from deep within his own half and finishing in the left corner.

Stephen Bannister shrugged off two tackles to add a fifth try for Crusaders and then Craig Ashall crossed on the hooter, supporting a Dallimore break after the ball was kept alive down the left flank.

Pilkington claimed the first try of the second half; Danny Filson intercepted a Stuart Reardon pass and had the speed to race clear and score in the corner.

Crusaders looked in shock when their opponents crossed for another try just minutes later, with Richard Rafferty showing great strength to touch the ball down next to the posts.

However, Crusaders responded with two tries in quick succession soon after.

First, Stephen Bannister handed the ball on to Adam Clay to cross under the sticks and then Tommy Johnson broke a tackle to touch down.

Adam Clay finished off a looping pass from Tommy Johnson in the corner to increase Crusaders’ lead further, before Matt Reid crossed for his first ever try for the club with a break from 30 metres out.

It was the amateur club who had the last word, and it was celebrated ecstatically by the Recs bench, as Filson capitalised on a loose ball on the touchline to race clear for his second try.

1 Tommy Johnson
22 Adam Clay
23 Greg Wilde
17 Stuart Reardon
3 Christiaan Roets
28 Craig White
7 Jamie Dallimore
21 Simon Stephens
19 Karl Ashall
8 Jonny Walker
29 Stephen Bannister
14 Stephen Wild
9 Craig Ashall
25 Owain Griffiths
27 Jamie Clarke
10 Mark Offerdahl
26 Matt Reid

Tries: Wilde (7), Dallimore (18, 28), Griffiths (24), Bannister (32, 35), C. Ashall (39), Clay (58, 72), Johnson (62), Reid (75)
Goals: Johnson 7/11

1 Ryan Hilliard
2 Danny Filson
3 Mark Fishton
4 Ian Stanley
5 Andrew Knapper
6 Greg Smith
7 Danny Lynch
11 Ste Charlson
9 Ryan Liptrot
10 Richard Rafferty
12 Mark Briody
8 Danny Hallsall
13 Tom Roughley
15 Ben Gravner
19 John Rees
16 Barry Pope
17 Liam Bostock

Tries: Knapper (14), Filson (45, 80), Rafferty (50)
Goals: Lynch 1/4

Referee: J Callaghan
HT: 36-4
Attendance: 544