Northwich 47 Penrith 24
Festival of tries
Before the match anyone looking at the form book would have expected a close possibly low scoring game. However, the match turned out to be a spectator’s delight and a coach’s nightmare. An 11 try fest proved to be the perfect antidote to the autumn internationals. With Chris Dale and Robin Houghton unavailable and the return of Ben Ridgeway and Conor Lapniewski Martin Poste had to tweak the team rewarding the ever improving Tom Clark with a deserved start.
In first half Northwich delivered a superb performance starting with just 5 minutes on the clock. A lineout was secured and the ball moved to midfield. Clark carried well allowing quick ball for Dale who had picked out an unstoppable lie to score. Baldwin added the extras. From the restart Naylor gathered the ball and fed Dale who in turn passed to Du Randt whose neat step inside opened a gap to score a second converted try. On the 10th minute a lineout gave Clark the opportunity to go on a charge he fed Ensor who provided the perfect inside pass for Dale to score his second try and Baldwin to convert his third. The visitors were stung into action and mounted an assault on the blacks line. From a well controlled lineout they applied real pressure and eventually drove across the line for a converted try. The Northwich response was punishing from a secured scrum Poste chipped over the top for Barber to collect and score, once again Baldwin was on target to restore the 21 point lead. The next score of the half came on the 35th minute. Following a lineout the hard working Ensor carried the ball into the heart of the Penrith defence, the ball was moved wide and an interchange between Dale, Barber and back to Dale to score an unconverted try. The last say of the half went to Penrith. A loose pas from the blacks allowed the visitors to pounce and after some excellent approach play they produced a fine try in the corner. This brought the half to a close with Northwich enjoying a 33-12 lead.
The first 20 minutes of the second half belonged to the visitors. With Northwich on the attack they were penalised for not releasing. The visitors took a quick tap and stunned the blacks with a fine try that went almost the length of the pitch. The extras were added and the blacks began to look vulnerable. On the 57th minute the blacks were caught off guard by a quickly taken lineout. The attack was well executed and the visitors scored an unconverted try and secured a bonus point. With just 9 points separating the teams it looked like Northwich could lose the commanding lead they had built. However with just 12 minutes left the blacks scored a 6th try. With Penrith down to 14 men following a yellow card a penalty gave Northwich a option to scrummage. With the ball secured the ball was moved wide to Skinkis. The recycled ball was moved back inside for Man of the Match Clark to stretch for a well deserved try. Baldwin added the extras and effectively closed the door on Penrith. With a couple of minutes remaining the final score came when from a scrum Barber went through a gap and a neat off load presented Husbands with a try. Baldwin rounded off a superb afternoon with a long range conversion to round off the match.
Although Martin Poste was delighted with the result he will be asking even more from his charges next week as they make the difficult journey to high flying Douglas
Next week Northwich travel to Douglas IOM KO 2.15pm
1 Joe Maddocks 2 Mike Gough 3 Ben Ridgeway 4 Chris Heywood 5 Matt Ensor 6 Chris James 7 Tom Clark 8 Sam Naylor 9 Matt Poste (Capt) 10 Nick Baldwin 11 Will Du Randt 12 Richard Dale13 James Underhill 14 Hayden Skinkis 15 Joel Barber 16 Tom Husbands 17 Adam Bennett 18 Conor Lapniewski