HOW time flies when you're having fun!

It seems scarcely believable, but the North Wales Crusaders only have seven matches left to play in League 1 this season.

Before the Crusaders can look at key clashes with the likes of leaders Keighley Cougars and Swinton Lions, Anthony Murray's side will be defending some silverware tomorrow.

The Celtic Shield is on the line as the Crusaders head to Llanelli to tackle the West Wales Raiders.

"They are always tough games in a derby," stressed Murray.

"Obviously, the shield is up for grabs and it's going to be a tough game.

"We have got to go down there and be at our best.

"They never give in.

"No matter what the scoreline is, they're a bunch of young players that will keep going for the full 80 minutes."

The Celtic Shield was established at the start of the season as a mini tournament between the Crusaders, Raiders and newly-formed Cornwall.

Crusaders were the first winners of the shield following a 62-22 success at home to Cornwall back in April, while they maintained their grasp on the trophy via a thumping 84-4 home victory versus the Raiders the following month.

The North Wales side go into tomorrow's match-up in good form with back-to-back wins, which have moved them back into second spot in League 1.

Most recently, they triumphed 46-16 at Midlands Hurricanes last time out and Murray said: "There are not many teams that have gone down there and put a high score on the Midlands."

The defensive aspect was also hugely pleasing to Murray, with Crusaders only conceding a solitary try in the first half.

"They can play a bit," he added.

"They like to play a bit of free-flowing rugby.

"The game was won in the first half with our defence.

"The penalty count was 6-0 and we only conceded one try.

"The game was won in that period with our defensive effort.

"It was a massive effort by the players.

"We only conceded one off a bit of a kick and bounce.

"The other two were scored off the the back of our errors."

As for the battles that lay ahead, Murray added: "We've got one or two bodies to come in and one or two to go out.

"We are looking reasonably healthy.

"We will look to keep building with some momentum and move into the Hunslet and Oldham games.

"We are all jostling for position in that top-six.

"The aim is to be in the play-offs.

"I just think it's a case of taking each game as it comes."

The remainder of the League 1 action comes on what promises to be a sweltering Sunday.

With temperatures expected to reach 30C, Keighley Cougars defend their unbeaten record at home to Cornwall and London Skolars pay a visit to Hunslet.

There are home matches for Oldham and Swinton Lions, versus Doncaster and Midlands Hurricanes respectively.