Northwich 24 Burnage 14
Following the disappointment of last week the blacks were looking for a positive response against a strong Burnage side. With James Underhill and Robin Houghton unavailable there was a slight change in the backs giving youngster Tom Husbands a start and shifting Will du Randt to the centre. In the forwards Sam Naylor and Ben Ridgeway both started the match. In the knowledge that Burnage were coming off a great victory over Warrington there was tension in the air.
It took just 2 minutes fro the tension to be broken. With the blacks I possession a ruck was formed in the mid-field. With no defender in place Dale collected the ball and went route one scoring unopposed giving Baldwin the easiest of conversions. Five minutes later Northwich were awarded a penalty. Poste took a quick tap and made a break his well timed pass to Barber gave the full back the easiest of scores. Baldwin added the extras and it looked like the home side would run riot. This was not the case as Burnage took control and pinned the blacks back in their own half for the rest of the half. Attack after attack were thwarted by a resilient home defence, that was until the 39th minute the visitors found the gap to score a deserved try that was converted bringing the half to a close with the blacks ahead 14-7.
The break was welcomed by Northwich who started the second half well. On the 50th minute a penalty for offside provided Baldwin with the opportunity to extend the lead. Ten minutes later a Burnage clearance kick was collected by Barber who carried the ball into the heart of the visitor’s territory releasing du Randt to score a nice try that was converted by Baldwin. Northwich very nearly scored a bonus point try when Sam Naylor seemed to have a clear run at the line. However, the cover tackle denied Naylor and the visitor earned a reprieve. For the remaining 20 minutes the tension returned as Burnage strove to find a way back into the contest. With time almost up a last ditch tackle from Barber was high and prevented a Burnage scoring. The referee awarded a penalty try and Barber took no further part in the match. There was still time for more tension and when Burnage were awarded a kickable penalty that would have earned them a bonus point they opted for a lineout. The Northwich defense held firm and the match drew to a close with the blacks winning 24-14.
Director of Rugby Martin Poste was pleased with the result but knows we will need to be at our best if we are to get a result at Blackburn.
Next week Northwich travel to Blackburn KO 2.15pm
1 Chris Bradshaw 2 Chris James 3 Ben Ridgeway 4 Chris Heywood 5 Matt Ensor 6 Sam Naylor 7 Tom Clark 8 Phil Williams 9 Matt Poste (Capt) 10 Nick Baldwin 11 Tom Husbands12 Richard Dale13 Will du Randt 14 Hayden Skinkis 15 Joel Barber 16 Martin Balshaw 17 Joe Maddocks 18 Mike Gough