Northwich 41 Ruskin Park 3
NORTHWICH, unfazed by falling behind, recovered to run over Ruskin Park as they recorded a ninth successive bonus points victory.
They remain favourites to finish in a promotion play-off position too after closest rivals Douglas, currently third, failed to score maximum points in a slender victory at West Park.
The distance between the teams is 11 points, while the islanders have two games in hand.
Ruskin led after converting a penalty inside the first five minutes, an advantage they protected until Gareth Davies, Ryan McKibbin and Richard Dale combined following a lineout to feed full back Dorian Simes who scored.
Dale, in the absence of injured kicker Chris Dutoy, converted.
Northwich extended their lead after another charge by McKibbin, with the ball recycled by player coach Sam Naylor for Simes who turned provider for Dale.
He added the extras too.
Star turn Dean Kingi carried the ball deep into Ruskin territory in Blacks’ first attacking move of the second period before an interchange between McKibbin and Naylor sent in Dale to score again.
Now in control, they pinched possession when their guests were on the attack and Andy Chubb’s break ended with a pass for Liam Gavin to touch down in the corner.
With a bonus point bagged, Blacks continued to apply pressure from the restart with Chris Heywood’s carry prompting an assist for Chubb to cross the line.
In rampant mood, Gavin supported McKibbin who claimed a deserved try.
A final score followed with five minutes left, again McKibbin playing a key part as he fed skipper Gareth Davies who sprinted over the whitewash.
Without a match this weekend, they will wait to discover if Douglas can close the gap by beating sixth-placed Glossop.
Northwich Cartman, Thompson, Kingi, Heywood, Farley, Smith, Gallimore, McKibbin, Davies, Underhill, Naylor, Richard Dale, Chubb, Gavin, Simes. Replacements Barber, Heath, Shimmin. Tries Richard Dale (2), Simes, Gavin, Chubb, McKibbin, Davies. Cons Richard Dale (3).