Beverley 32, Crusaders 6 - The curtain closed on Crusaders' league programme with a defeat at Beverley.

The young side flattered to deceive in the early stages and were good value for a lead of six points, which they held by courtesy of two long range penalty goals by Gary Davey, until the twentieth minute.

A quickly taken drop out from the 22 caught Crusaders off their guard and took play almost to their line from where second row forward Tristan Smith barged over for a try converted by scrum half Mike Kilgannon to give Beverley a narrow lead rather against the run of play.

This score was the boost the home side needed and before half time centre Tony Rigby finished off a good move by the backs with Kilgannon again adding the extra points.

Crusaders were, however, at this stage, still in contention. Stand off Davey impressed with his illusive running and accurate kicking and pack was competing well against the heavier Beverley set.

In the second half the light rain, which had fallen since the kick off, developed into a relentless cold deluge. Numbed fingers inevitably led to spilled passes and the game developed largely into a forward battle. Beverley held most of the aces in this respect and gradually their pack gained control in spite of the stalwart efforts of Keighley forwards Mark Lister and Andrew Bennett who stood out individually in a pack which lacked any collective cohesion.

A determined defence restricted Beverley to two further penalty goals by Kilgannon until late in the game when firstly wingman Umberto Cuozzo and then Rigby crossed for tries which gave the score a rather unbalanced look which scarcely reflected Crusaders efforts.

Crusaders are still seeking a fixture for Saturday. Danny McGee returns at full back, Simon Shiner is at centre for the unavailable Kevin Young and Danny Wright is in the second row for Peter Southgate.

n Crusaders 2nd XV continued their good run with a 41-17 victory over Huddersfield YMCA, reversing their defeat earlier in the season.

Andi McGill and Iuean Morgan combined well early in the game with Morgan finishing off under the posts, giving Nigel Curr and easy conversion. Huddersfield hit back with an unconverted try before John Flaherty burst through for Keighley's second score.

After the break John Hinchliffe was introduced into the centre. The Crusaders replied after their pack had been pushed over the line for a try. Warren Knowles outstripped the defence for a try and Morgan scored his second as Crusaders' pace took its toll.

Sub Neil Scott was a major influence coming on at stand-off allowing Nigel Curr and Flaherty to combine with Curr bursting through three tackles to score an unconverted try in the corner.

Hinchliffe scored the final try with Woodwiss adding the conversion. With two games to go they now aim to complete the season without further defeat.

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