FANS of North Wales Crusaders are on tenterhooks to see if their side can win promotion.
Ahead of Sunday’s crunch game at The Racecourse against rivals the South Wales Scorpions the club is just one point away from winning the Championship One title.
It comes just two years after the original Crusaders club pulled out of the Super League after a last minute decision by then owners Geoff Moss and Ian Roberts who blamed financial issues.
But the club rose from the ashes in 2011 as North Wales Crusaders under partial fan ownership and joined rugby league’s third tier. It has since gone from strength to strength having already won the Northern Rail Cup this season.
Fans and club officials have said they feel both excited and nervous ahead of Sunday’s 2.30pm kick off.
Jamie Thomas, the club’s chief executive and majority shareholder, has praised all who have helped in the club’s revival.
He said: “It’s absolutely remarkable when you look at where we have come from in the past two years.
“We started with just the will of the fans to keep rugby league in North Wales and are now on the brink of being just one league below Super League and a league and cup double.
“I would like to thank everyone involved for their efforts. North Wales is ripe to have a really strong rugby league club and our attendances are much better than a lot of clubs in the league above.”
Simon Cooke began as a fan of the club, but has now become involved in running the club’s website, as well as acting as kit man and waterboy on match days.
He said: “I can’t wait for Sunday, but you’ve got to be a bit nervous as well. You can’t take anything for granted.
“It’s going to be a hard game, but we’ve beaten them once this season and twice last season so hopefully that puts us in good stead.
“No-one plays for a point so hopefully we can win.”
Speaking of the day the club’s former owners decided to pull out of the Super League, he said: “It was just a shock. A load of us took the morning off work, no-one thought it was going to happen. We thought we were going to be given another three years.”
He added: “We are in a football town but if half the people who watch Wrexham FC came to watch us it would be a big boost.
“We are one of the best supported teams in the lower two divisions already and will add to that if we go up.”
Hannah Clarke, head of commercial activities at the club, said: “Everyone’s really excited, but we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. In 2011 we had the rug pulled out from underneath our feet.
“After that we spoke to local businesses and Jamie was there and the decision was that we didn’t want to lose rugby league in Wrexham.
“The town and the fans have really embraced rugby league.
“It’s often said that our support is the best in the league.
“If we did go up it would just go to show that there is an appetite for rugby in north Wales and outside the heartlands.”