Last year North Shields’ second string side the Crusaders managed to finish 2nd place in Northumberland County River Blyth League, falling just short to champions Morpeth.
This season the River Blyth League has had a bit of a shake up, with the Blyth North and South Leagues merging to allow for more competitive games, under the name Blyth League. However two teams from the old North league won’t be taking part this year, south of the river side Jarrovians have opted to leave the league in the hope of rejoining Durham/Northumberland 3 for the coming season and Seghill Deputies who finished last place in the River Blyth 18/19 league have had to pull out due to the number of matches called off last season. Seghill have been placed in the Merit table where they can rejoin the Blyth league in 2020/2021 if more games have been fulfilled.
A welcome return sees derby rivals South Shields’ second team re-enter the leagues as they take their place in the Blyth League along-side; Houghton Boars, Gateshead 3s, Blaydon Bricks and Sunderland 2s who have all joined as part of the merge. Last season’s league opponents; Percy Park Pumas, Rockcliff Rangers, Novos Centurions, Gosforth Phoenix and Blyth 2s make up the rest of the 11 team league for the 2019/20 season.
In the County Cup, North Shields have been entered into the Northumberland Cup & Plate No3 and have been drawn against Percy Park Pumas away on Saturday 19th October. The Pumas beat North Shields convincingly in the Semi Final stage last year and were narrowly beaten in the final by Rockcliff. The Cup and Plate Finals will be played on Saturday 4th April 2020.
This season the Crusaders have two new dedicated coaches pulling the strings; recently retired and part of the North Shields 1st XV plate and promotion success last year, Chris Allott along with Mike Hudspeth. With bags of experience between the two, this year should see a more than capable Crusaders side take to the field under their guidance in time for the new season kicking off in early September.
New and returning players are always welcome!