100% tally for Baldwin brings just rewards against Manxmen
By john Blower
Northwich 41 Douglas 31
This match was always an exciting prospect. Any hopes of promotion were unrealistic, as the later results proved. This was about two strong sides vying for bragging rights and third place in the division. Due to the return flight times the kick off was brought forward to 2pm, and in ideal conditions the match proved to be one of the most entertaining of the season.
The first 15 minutes were a stalemate as both side sized each other up. It was a Northwich scrum that led to the breakthrough. Naylor picked up and fed Barber who broke the line He passed to Naylor in support who found Houghton on the inside to score a neat try for Baldwin to convert. Ten minutes later it was Baldwin who extended the lead with a penalty for not releasing in the tackle. The match became a bit of an arm wrestle until the 35th minute when Douglas took control. Their first try was scored of the back of a lineout when the visitors produced a series of carries before moving the ball wide for a score in the corner, which was converted. Five minutes later The Manx men took the lead when they created an unstoppable maul of a lineout. The score was converted. As the half went into stoppage time the kick off was gathered by the visitors who countered with a fine score. With the extras added the half ended with a stunned Northwich trailing 21-19.
The second half started with the blacks trying to assert themselves. Reward came on the 45th minute when Naylor broke for the line following a good build up. Baldwin added the extras and the blacks were back in touch. Five minutes later Northwich regained the lead. A quick penalty tap set off an attack that was completed when Davidson broke the line to score a converted try. A doulas penalty on the 56th minute brought the scores level. As the match entered the final 10 minutes the blacks regained the lead with a Baldwin penalty. This was immediately followed with a Barber try, when he gathered the kick off and fed Houghton who made deep inroads into the Douglas half. His pass found Barber on the inside who scored the try for Baldwin to convert. As the matched entered stoppage time Douglas scored a converted try from a scrum when for once the blacks defence was left wanting. With time ticking away the blacks pinned Douglas deep in their half and from a lineout they attacked fro the front of the line. Following a series of charges Davidson forced his way over for his second score. Baldwin completed his 100% tally for the day and the blacks won this excellent contest 41-31
Martin Poste was delighted with his charges who along with Douglas produced some Champagne rugby.
Next week Northwich travel to Broughton Park KO 3pm
1 Joe Maddocks 2 Conor Lapniewski 3 Adam Bennett 4 Chris Heywood 5 Tom Clark 6 Sam Naylor 7 Matt Ensor 8 Phil Williams 9 Matt Poste (Capt) 10 Nick Baldwin 11 Tom Husbands12 Richard Dale13 Scott Davidson14 Robin Houghton 15 Joel Barber 16 James Wood17 Patrick Fray 18 Chris Bradshaw