NORTH WALES CRUSADERS’ first ever visit to the Alexander Stadium ended in a defeat.

Looking to complete a League One double over Midlands Hurricanes, Carl Forster’s side were on the wrong end of an 18-10 outcome.

Crusaders, who beat Midlands 20-14 in March, have made it a habit this season of scoring first in matches and Sunday was no different.

After heavy rain caused kick-off to be delayed by half-an-hour, Crusaders nudged in front in the 20th minute when Ben Lane set up Pat Ah Van to crash over for a converted score.

Ten minutes later and things were level once more.

David Hewitt grabbed Midlands’ first try of the contest and this was duly converted.

However, right on the stroke of half-time, North Wales regained the lead.

Dan Coates’ kick was pounced on by Matt Reid for an unconverted try and Crusaders had a 10-6 advantage heading into the break.

However, this would be the final piece of joy for the Crusaders, with the Hurricanes scoring 12 unanswered points in the second half to secure victory. Matty Chrimes and Ryan Johnson scored the tries, while Hewitt kicked a conversion and penalty.

Ahead of the contest, Reid said he was anticipating a tough challenge.

Reid told the club’s website: “They’ve gone to Workington and won, alright they lost against Cornwall, so did we last year, but they’ll have their moments this year.”

In Sunday’s big showdown, second-placed Keighley Cougars ended Oldham’s unbeaten record with a 28-18 success.

Hunslet defeated Cornwall 42-16 and Rochdale Hornets edged out Newcastle Thunder 24-18.