NORTHWICH badly needed this result.

If it prompts their rivals to raise an eyebrow then that’s a bonus, but more importantly Blacks have reassured themselves that they can beat the best teams at this level.

Carlisle arrived at Moss Farm as league leaders.

They left still occupying that position, but with a seed of doubt now planted in their minds.

Northwich took the lead inside five minutes when returning captain Matthew Poste tapped a penalty before darting to the line.

Nick Baldwin added the extras, concluding a move that had started when the visitors had infringed only metres from their hosts’ line at the other end of the field.

Carlisle responded immediately, setting up a ruck on the 22-metre line before moving the ball wide for wing Ben Purdham to dot down.

Grant Connon converted.

Blacks hit back quickly, Baldwin’s long pass inviting wide-man Bud Skinkis to go over after Chris Dale had driven an opponent off the ball at a breakdown.

Baldwin’s kicking remained reliable, and he slotted two penalties after adding a conversion.

Northwich demonstrated their speed on the counter in the moments before the break when Kyle Lindsay, recalled by director of rugby Martin Poste following an impressive performance for the seconds last week, surged into Carlisle territory.

Baldwin received possession after he was halted, kicking the ball on for full-back Joel Barber to collect and score.

Blacks’ interval lead was cut to 27-10 when Jason Israel landed a three-pointer for the visitors.

Carlisle raised hopes they might recover when their heavier pack pushed Northwich over their own line from an attacking scrum before player-coach Matthew Shields dropped down on the ball.

The home team were in no mood to relent though, and dashed Cumbrian hopes when Chris Dale and Lindsay led a break that ended with Barber touching down his second try.

Baldwin landed the extras to complete the scoring, and with it put the seal on a first victory for his side since an opening-day success at Anselmians at the start of September.

They’ll feel a whole lot better now.

Northwich | Maddocks, Gough, Ridgway, Heywood, Ensor, Lindsay, Naylor, Chris Dale, Poste, Baldwin, Husband, Richard Dale, Underhill, Skinkis, Barber Replacements Clark, James, Bennett Tries Poste, Skinkis, Barber (2) Cons Baldwin (4) Pens Baldwin (2)