NORTH WALES CRUSADERS started their 1895 Cup tie at home to Championship Widnes Vikings in quite stunning fashion but they couldn’t finish off the job.

Carl Forster’s side came storming out of the blocks to build-up a 10-point lead in the opening10 minutes, but it was Widnes who ended up 30-14 winners.

Head coach Forster backed his group to make their mark in the game - and they certainly did that in the opening stages of the contest.

Just two minutes had elapsed when North Wales took the lead.

Joe Lyons’ kick was charged down and Matt Reid came up with the score.

Things got even better for the Crusaders in the sixth minute. After working the ball down the line, Pat Ah Van was free on the left touchline to dive over for the try and a successful conversion made it 10-0.

Widnes Vikings were always going to battle back and they gained their first score after a quarter-of-an-hour.

Tom Gilmore’s cut out pass set up Joe Edge to go through a gap for the try.

Widnes were right back in it after 19 minutes as James Roby ghosted in for his side’s second unconverted try.

A third try put the Vikings in front three minutes later.

Matty Fozard made the most of a Cru error for the score and Edge added the extras.

One further try would come before the break and it went in Vikings’ favour with Mike Butt crossing to make it 18-10 at the break.

Widnes stretched their advantage to 14 points early in the second half.

Joe Lyons scored his side’s fifth try, with Gilmore adding the conversion.

Crusaders weren’t out of the contest just yet, though, and Ah Van powered through a number of Vikings’ bodies for his second score of the afternoon. The conversion attempt bounced off the post and crossbar.

Widnes would put the game to bed with 10 minutes left when Max Wood marked his debut by crossing for a try and Gilmore was on the money with his conversion attempt.

Other results: Workington Town 22 Whitehaven 28; Keighley Cougars 18 Bradford Bulls 26; Newcastle Thunder 0 Wakefield Trinity 110; Oldham 38 Rochdale Hornets 12; Hunslet 0 Batley Bulldogs 36; Midlands Hurricanes 16 Sheffield Eagles 30.