Raiders u12s perform admirably in NW Crusaders loss
Telford Raiders u12s travelled to Wrexham on Challenge Cup Semi-Final day to play a NW Crusaders team with the experience of a North West Counties season behind them - and acquitted themselves admirably given the lack of game time this year.
In the 1st minute, Raiders were immediately under pressure defending on their own line, but Jake intercepted a pass to run the full length of pitch and touched down under posts. Harry's conversion made it 6-0.
For the next 5 minutes, however, Crusaders were camped in Raiders half due to nervous handling errors and scored 4 unanswered tries. In the last few minutes of the period, Telford stepped up and put the Crusaders defence under pressure and came close to scoring on a few occasions but could not cross the whitewash leaving the score 6-20.
A quick drink break and they went again this time, both Raiders and Crusaders defences stood strong and for 10 minutes no one side had the upper hand, despite the Raiders squad having to adjust to the turbulence cause by their 3 loanees changing every period.
Half time came and so did the water boy. The 3rd quarter saw 3 new loanee players and Raiders didn't start too well - a missed catch and a few missed tackles and they were down 6-42.
In the final quarter, after a few rallying words from the coaches, the lads went back out, a catch right from kick off put Raiders on the front foot and some great communication, running lines and pretty much everyone touched the ball and Raiders touched down for a brilliant team try.
Crusaders chose to kick to Raiders at the restart perhaps thinking they would get it back but again a catch and great support and quick plays saw Jake Cross the line again but this time Harry could not convert.
Crusaders restarted again, with confidence high the ball was caught and Raiders looked to put pressure on straight away and with a bursting run from a borrowed player Raiders scored the final try.
To score 3 unanswered tries in the final quarter on such a hot day against such a strong side showed enormous character and determination - and, despite a final score of 22-42, the coaching team couldn't have been more proud of the performance from Telford's u12s squad.
Raiders team: Harry, Jake, Aiden, Tyler, Olly, Charlie