Anthony Murray believes Sunday's last-gasp victory at Newcastle Thunder has given his North Wales Crusaders squad 'a massive lift'.

A dramatic end to the League One clash saw the Cru emerge with a hard-fought 24-20 victory courtesy of Kenny Baker's last minute match-winning try.

Murray's side showed their battling qualities from the outset as tries from Ryan Smith and Dale Bloomfield helped to claw back a 12-0 deficit by half-time.

As both sides exchanged second half tries, Thunder seized a late advantage through a Tom Shaw penalty before Baker burst clear to touch down and convert the decisive score.

The morale-boosting victory, a first in three games for the Wrexham club, delighted Murray after the disappointment of successive league defeats.

He said: "It felt brilliant to be on the right end of that kind of result with a late try for our efforts.

"It's given everyone a massive lift and restored a bit of belief among the players here.

"Especially after coming off the back of the Hunslet and Whitehaven games, where we worked so hard but some big decisions went against us and we ended up with nothing.

"To be trailing by 12 points against a decent Newcastle side and then showing the character to pull that back and stay in the game was a real credit to the lads and I felt we got our just rewards for our play.

"Newcastle are just above us in the league and we were desperate to keep in touch with them.

"The last time we played them back in April they turned us over 30-10 at home, so I think this result shows us how far we've come as a team.

"I think this is a big victory that has allowed us to close some of that gap on those sides who are all pushing to get into that top half of the table."

While Murray had hailed the Cru's work ethic and application in their recent losses, he was critical of the Cru's lack of cutting edge at times.

And having called for his side to punish the opposition when on top in games, the Cru players delivered with a more clinical attacking display.

"I wanted us to be a bit smarter in attacking areas of the pitch and make it count when we near Newcastle's try line and we did that" he added.

"Our completion rate was above 80 per cent, which is higher than it's ever been in my time here, and I think that showed how well we looked after the ball throughout the game.

"Playing on a bigger pitch really suited us and I thought that our kicking game was excellent too - we always carried a threat and played with a lot of confidence, I felt.

"The hard work and focus has always been there from the players. Hopefully we can sustain all of these elements within our game and find a level of consistency across the rest of the season now."