3:02pm Wednesday 26th February 2014
By Andrew Simpson
Manchester 7 Northwich 61
NORTHWICH had settled the outcome, and banked a bonus point, inside 20 minutes at Manchester on Saturday.
A seventh successive victory proved perfect preparation for this weekend’s derby return with neighbours Winnington Park, strengthening Blacks’ hold on a promotion play-off place.
Glossop, in third position, are now eight points further back.
The men from Moss Farm touched down six times, each converted by Chris Dutoy, before half an hour had elapsed on Saturday.
They scored first after five minutes; Dorian Simes crossing the whitewash between the posts after the visitors opted for a scrum when the match official awarded them a penalty.
From the restart they attacked again, Ryan McKibbin breaking the line to claim a try at the end of a move that switched from one side of the pitch to the other.
After quarter of an hour, Simes received a clearance kick and charged forward before supplying McKibbin in support. His pass invited Andy Chubb to spring 40-metres to the line.
Shortly afterwards Blacks stole possession at a lineout to start a move that ended with Chubb turning provider for Richard Dale who collected for a fourth try.
The pressure on Manchester did not relent, and from another lineout Northwich nicked the ball.
Chris Dale’s break gathered momentum when he fed player coach Sam Naylor – fit again after shoulder surgery – and he sent in Chubb.
Dutoy added the extras.
Northwich swelled their tally further when Dutoy gathered, handed off to Simes who clipped a deft kick into Gareth Davies’ path for the captain to collect and touch down.
Dutoy intercepted a wayward pass to run under the sticks for a try of his own, completing the conversion afterwards.
He recovered a deep kick after an hour, feeding full back Simes who spotted Richard Dale on a charge.
His chip and chase was timed perfectly, leading to his second try of the afternoon.
McKibbin gathered the ball from the restart, starting a sequence that involved Naylor and both Dale brothers before Blacks’ player coach marked his return with a score.
Dutoy duly converted, though the hosts completed the scoring with a consolation try, converted, in the contest;s closing stages.
Northwich Cartman, Dodd, Kingi, Heywood, Smith, Chris Dale, McKibbin, Watts, Houghton, Dutoy, Naylor, Richard Dale, Chubb, Davies, Simes. Replacements Thompson, Heath, Jones. Tries Simes, McKibbin, Chubb (2), Richard Dale (2), Davies, Dutoy, Naylor. Cons Dutoy (8).
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