3:16pm Thursday 17th October 2013
West Park 5
NORTHWICH coaches Sam Naylor and Alan Jack hope this bonus-point victory will provide a platform for their side’s recovery from a shaky start to the South Lancashire/ Cheshire Division One season.
The one-sided score line belies the intense nature of the match, which was a struggle until the final whistle as the lively West Park side made life difficult for the hosts.
Fortunately veteran Nigel Farrow’s return to the starting line-up coincided with a stand-out performance from the second rower, while the return of Chris Dale is also proving to be invaluable.
Chris Dutoy wasted no time in punishing the visitors for being offside, converting a penalty to give Blacks the lead after just three minutes.
A poor restart soon put an end to an early joy, however, as only six minutes later Park’s rapid-fire passing stretched the hosts sufficiently to send a player crashing over in the corner for an unconverted try.
In response Northwich went on the offensive and a gap in the defensive line was exploited fully by Jack Watts, who stole over the line to give Dutoy a successful shot at the conversion, which gave Blacks a 10-5 lead at the break.
It was after the restart that the hosts really started to turn the screw, kick-starting their cruise to victory with Bellis and Campbell combining to send Watts over for his second of the game.
Dutoy again dutifully tagging on the extras.
West Park were far from toothless, heaping pressure on Northwich’s line that was held out superbly before Watts alleviated the pressure with a ball steal at the maul.
He released Dutoy on a half break and Northwich were suddenly on the attack, with McKibbin finishing the break before Dutoy’s trusty boot added the extras.
With the result secure Blacks went looking for the bonus point, Liam Gavin breaching the strong Park rearguard for a try that Dutoy was unable to convert in an otherwise flawless kicking performance.
Northwich Cairns, Kingi, Eaves, Smith, Farrow, Dale, McKibbin, Watts, Davies, Dutoy, Campbell, Bellis, Houghton, Elliott, Simes. Replacements used Cartman, Heywood, Gavin. Tries Watts, two, McKibbin, Gavin. Pen Dutoy Cons Dutoy
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