THE mixer may have blown up during the creation of the Crusaders’ fifth birthday cake but that didn’t stop the festivities.

Players celebrated the team’s anniversary at the Racecourse ground yesterday with their chosen charity of the year, Nightingale House.

And it was thanks to Nightingale House retail manager Vicky Harland that the cake, shaped like a rugby shirt, made it to the party.

The charity was asked to make a cake at 3.45pm on Wednesday and Vicky quickly got to work.

The recipe included 30 eggs and a whopping 2kg of margarine – too much for Vicky’s mixer to handle.

It meant she had to beat the ingredients the old fashioned way – with a strong arm!

The next problem was the size of the oven at her home in Aldford, Chester.

But luckily staff at the Old King’s Head pub in the city’s Lower Bridge Street made space in their large oven to bake the cake.

The icing, done on the day of the event, then took about five hours to complete.

But it was all worth it as players enjoyed the sweet treat before getting back to training for Saturday’s clash with St Helens at the Racecourse.

Vicky said: “I’ve never made a cake this big before but it came out OK.”

The rugby league club started out five years ago as the Celtic Crusaders.

They played their first competitive games in the National League Cup in 2006 and won every group game, winning promotion to National League One in 2008.

The same year they signalled their ambition for Super League rugby and were one of 19 clubs to submit an application for a licence.

They were accepted and started playing in Super League in 2009.

Crusaders’ rebranding and move to North Wales opened up a gap for a new side in South Wales, the South Wales Scorpions.

Speaking at the birthday celebration, Crusaders head coach Brian Noble said the club had had a fantastic half-decade.

He said: “It has been a productive and positive five years for Crusaders and rugby league in Wales and the sport will continue to thrive here.

“I’ve always believed there have been some fabulous players in Wales and we’re finally starting to see them come through and develop.”

Caroline Siddall, income generation director from Nightingale House, said: “We have had a fabulous year with the Crusaders and they have been really supportive with players coming to the hospice.”