NORTHWICH dispatched the league’s back-markers with the minimum of fuss last weekend and have now won their past four matches.

A distance to a promotion play-off place is now only five points ahead of a meeting with Penrith at Moss Farm on Saturday, kick-off 2.15pm.

Blacks, conscious that De La Salle had lost all nine of their previous matches in North One West this season, edged ahead when Nick Baldwin converted a penalty awarded for a high tackle.

The home team responded with a try that went unconverted before the stand-off restored his side’s lead with a second three-pointer.

They did not trail again.

A first try arrived midway through the first-half when a move led by Matt Ensor ended with the ball moved to Chris James who forced himself over the line from close-range.

Another followed shortly afterwards when full-back Joel Barber finished a sequence started by the visitors’ back-row at an attacking scrum.

Baldwin added the extras.

His kick deep into De La Salle territory delivered another scrum from which wing Robin Houghton claimed a third Northwich try after collecting a long pass.

The Salford outfit increased their points tally early in the second-half when they pinched possession before countering impressively to score a converted try.

Jolted, Blacks replied when Bud Skinkis darted over in the corner following a series of drives to secure a bonus-point.

Baldwin converted too.

Houghton then doubled his personal tally after the ball was moved wide following a scrum close to the hosts’ try-line.

Barber pounced on a handling error by a defender to notch his second try of the contest before Skinkis did the same with time running out.

Baldwin’s right boot remained reliable and he improved both scores before a depleted De La Salle, down to 13 men with two others in the sin-bin, claimed the final points of the contest.

Northwich | Maddocks, Gough, Bennett, Heywood, Ensor, James, Naylor, Richard Dale, Poste, Baldwin, Houghton, Du Randt, Underhill, Skinkis, Barber Replacements Husband, Clark, Bradshaw Tries James, Barber (2), Houghton (2), Skinkis (2) Cons Baldwin (5) Pens Baldwin (2)