Ryan Gould at The Glyndwr University Racecourse Stadium

A STRONG FIRST-HALF showing by Crusaders saw them record a comfortable victory over amateurs Widnes West Bank and book their place in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup fourth round draw.

After holding a 42-0 half-time lead, many would have backed Crusaders to run their current record win – an 82-6 success over West Hull back in 2013 – close.

But West Bank made it a real fight in the second-half and were a match for their hosts.

The opening exchanges were scrappy as both sides came up with errors but, once Crusaders hit their stride, they bagan to blow away their amateur opponents.

Alex Thompson, hitting a great line, collected Karl Ashall’s looping pass to touch down for Crusaders’ first try of the afternoon.

The hosts started to pluck away at the Widnes club’s right side and began to get some joy.

Jono Smith fended off two tackles to score Crusaders’ second of the afternoon, before Dallimore, with a fantastic solo effort, and Turner went over for further efforts.

Then, Scott Turner turned provider as he set up Tommy Johnson with a simple inside pass following yet another break down the left.

Johnson added his second try before Elliot Davies touch down, after Ryan Duffy had come up with a great offload to release Tommy Johnson.

Crusaders started the second period as well as they finished the first; Karl Ashall came up with an outrageous dummy to throw the West Bank defence and score underneath the sticks.

But the visitors hit Crusaders with a double blow. First, Josh Simm showed great strength to force his way over the line from range and then Jamie Durbin, facing his former club, scored under the posts.

In between, Crusaders’ Alex Thompson and West Bank’s Eddie McAdam were sent to the sin-bin for fighting.

However, Crusaders did hit back immediately as Ryan Duffy’s offload set Middlehurst free and, in turn, he sent Ian Mort over for the try.

There wasn’t much between the sides in the second-half, but Crusaders had the last word when Joe Burke supported Stuart Reardon’s break.

1 Tommy Johnson
17 Stuart Reardon
22 Alex Thompson
3 Christiaan Roets
2 Scott Turner
14 Karl Ashall
7 Jamie Dallimore
16 Joe Burke
9 Callum Wright
8 Jonny Walker
11 Jono Smith
12 Stephen Wild
13 Gary Middlehurst
21 Ian Mort
4 Matt Reid
10 Ryan Duffy
20 Elliot Davies

Tries: Thompson (8), Smith (13), Dallimore (23), Turner (26), Johnson (29, 33), Davies (39), Ashall (41), Mort (51), Burke (77)
Goals: Johnson (8/8), Turner (2/2)

1 Greg Pichilingi
2 Keiron Butterworth
3 Brendan Kavnagh
4 David Jones
5 Danny Sharleton
6 Tommy Arrowsmith
7 Jamie Durbin
8 Shaun McDermott
9 Steve McDermott
10 Ryan Bates
11 Danny Yates
12 Lloyd Hankin
13 Ryan Millington
14 Eddie McAdam
15 Gregg Forbes
16 Josh Simm
17 Jack Murphey

Tries: Simm (45), Durbin (48)
Goals: Arrowsmith (2/2)

Referee: Dave Merrick
HT: 42-0
Attendance: 532