NORTH WALES CRUSADERS can finally start looking forward to their first league action in 2024.

After sitting things out for more than a month, Crusaders’ League One campaign opens with Sunday’s lengthy trek south to tackle Cornwall.

The hosts kicked off their league season with a 56-12 defeat at Keighley Cougars.

From North Wales’ perspective, they’ve been without a competitive match since a hard-fought 30-14 defeat against Championship Widnes Vikings back on February 18.

In a stunning start, Matt Reid and Pat Ah Van crossed for early tries as Crusaders built-up a 10-0 lead in the opening 10 minutes, while Ah Van also grabbed a second half score.

Focusing on the build-up to the new season, head coach Carl Forster said: “In the last five weeks, we’ve done quite a lot. We’ve given them a bit of time off and we’ve had sessions where we’ve got the football out and had a bit of fun.

“In the last three weeks, we’ve had a lot of rugby and we did a training camp at the stadium.”

Crusaders will travel down on the Saturday, the day before the first league meeting.

It will be the first meeting between the sides since Cornwall gained a stunning 40-38 success away to North Wales last July.

On that occasion, Cornwall held a 36-point lead at the interval, while Forster’s side replied with 34 unanswered points in the second period, eventually just falling short.

Reflecting on that match, Forster said: “At least we can learn from last year’s lessons. If you take any of these sides half-heartedly, you can be stung.”

Crusaders used their weekend off to hold a first supporters’ evening of the season.

Fans turned out to join head coach Forster and some of the first team squad for a bite to eat at Wrexham’s Fat Boar, followed by bowling at TenPin Wrexham.

North Wales Crusaders commercial director Josh Antoniou said: “It’s a fantastic way for everyone to meet up away from a matchday and have a fun evening. We’re aware that throughout the season the league provides some natural breaks, and so we want to ensure that we give supporters a chance to remain connected with the club and fellow supporters in an affordable way.

“This is the first of several events which we’re planning on holding throughout the year across North Wales.”