Northwich 6 Wilmslow 21

INJURIES to key players rubbed salt in the wounds for Blacks as they fell to back-to-back league defeats for the first time in almost two years.

The defeat to a strong and determined Wilmslow outfit was also the first time Martin Poste’s side had failed to register a try or a bonus point since September 2014.

Chris James suffered a serious eye injury, while Sean Phillips is also set for a spell on the sidelines with a broken nose picked up during the game at Moss Farm.

The visitors served notice of their intentions in the very first minute when they forced a penalty when Northwich received the kick-off and Bob MacCallum slotted an easy three points.

Blacks were penalised again shortly after for not releasing in the tackle, MacCallum did the necessaries and Wilmslow had a six-point lead within the first five minutes.

The game descended into a bit of an arm wrestle, with both sides striving for control, until Northwich were awarded a penalty of their own for offside and Nick Baldwin converted to get his side on the board.

Baldwin levelled the scores midway through the first half after Wilmslow were caught offside again, but that was as good as it got for the hosts.

After winning a scrum in the Blacks half, Wilmslow exploited a lack of concentration to stride through a gap and give Adam Hewitt a well-executed try in the corner.

MacCallum missed the conversion and the score remained 11-6 at the break despite some strong Blacks pressure.

Both defences worked hard in the second half with no quarter asked nor given from either side. Northwich pressed the Wilmslow line for long periods but were met by an organised and resilient rearguard.

The visitors held out and got the boost of a second try with ten minutes remaining. A missed tackle presented Wilmslow with an overlap and the ball went through the hands for Toby Rowe to cross.

MacCallum again failed to convert but the 16-6 lead was still a commanding one and was extended when an attempted quick line-out from Blacks was intercepted by Sean Street and he galloped home unopposed to seal the victory.

Northwich will look to avoid a third straight loss when they travel to Blackburn on Saturday, kick off 2.15pm.

Northwich: Phillips, James, Thompson, Dudley, Smith, Heywood, Chris Dale, English, Poste, Baldwin, Underhill, Naylor, Richard Dale, Houghton, Barber. Replacements: Gavin, Maddocks, Skinkis.