North Wales Crusaders left it late to snatch a 24-20 League One success against Newcastle Thunder, writes JOSH PAY.

Trailing 20-18 with minutes left, Crusaders took the lead for the first time as Kenny Baker found space to cross the line, before converting the try to secure victory.

It didn't look a likely outcome early on in the contest as Newcastle scored with just three minutes on the clock.

A high-kick from Tom Shaw caught Patrick Ah Van off-guard, the ball bouncing kindly for Joe Brown, who ran over in the corner.

Minutes later the Crusaders were reduced to 12-men as Joe Bate saw yellow for an off the ball tackle.

And the home side looked to have capitalised on their extra man as Mo Agoro stretched the Crusaders defence and crashed over in the corner. However, the effort was ruled out by the touch judge with the score remaining 6-0.

Crusaders continued to come under pressure from Jason Payne’s side, but did well to hold out consecutive Newcastle sets on their line.

But the pressure eventually paid off for Newcastle as a grubber kick through the Crusaders defence was gathered by Shaw, who crossed the whitewash beneath the posts to double his side's lead.

As the Welsh side looked for a route back into the game, they passed up on several opportunities - knocking on twice in front of the Newcastle line.

However, their work eventually paid off with 37 minutes on the clock as Joe Lyons broke the Newcastle line before sending Ryan Smith through a gap to score.

And with half-time fast approaching the Crusaders managed to level the score courtesy of Dale Bloomfield.

As the hooter sounded a kick to the corner from Lyons was chased down by winger Bloomfield, who did well to beat the chasing Newcastle defence to the corner to score.

Newcastle started the second-half as they had the first - with a quick try. A kick on the last tackle rebounded off the post protector and into the hands of Shaw, who crashed over the line to give his side the lead once again.

But Crusaders hit back almost immediately as Aaron Moore played a quick ball to Dan Norman, who powered his way through the Newcastle defence to level.

Despite attacking efforts from the visitors, Newcastle took the lead with eight minutes to go as Shaw converted a penalty in front of the posts to take the score to 20-18.

But Anthony Murray's men were not to be denied victory as they took the lead for the first time.

A clever play on the last tackle saw Baker find space to go over before he converted his own try to secure a memorable win for the Welsh side.