NORTHWICH won a sixth successive match but this one will make every rival take note.

Martin Poste and his resurgent side have gathered momentum over the past month, putting behind them a difficult start that yielded a single win in their first half-dozen league games.

And yet they weren’t expected to beat Douglas, beaten only once on the Isle of Man in 2018 – and that to a Vale of Lune side that went on to finish 19 points clear at the North One West summit.

This is a statement win.

The late arrival of their flight disrupted preparations, while heavy rain and fading light put the contest in some doubt.

Blacks are glad it did start, and they demonstrated ambition during the early exchanges when back-row forwards Chris James, Tom Clark and Sam Naylor were first to almost every breakdown.

A breakthrough arrived on 15 minutes following an attacking lineout close to the Douglas line.

The visitors drove towards it after securing the ball and Clark forced his way over.

Nick Baldwin added a conversion.

The home team, seeking a seventh successive home win, controlled possession as they tried to respond.

They made the most of an opportunity to counter after claiming a clearance kick by a Northwich player, working the ball out wide for a score in the corner.

A successful conversion restored parity at 7-7.

Blacks didn’t relent, Richard Dale and James Underhill shining in midfield as they took the game to their opponents.

An up-and-under from Baldwin on 32 minutes was recovered before the ball was sent to the right flank.

When it arrived back with the stand-off, he kicked cross-field for Will Du Randt to collect and go over on the opposite side.

Baldwin’s extras followed and the scorers were not troubled again.

Douglas dominated possession and territory after the interval when they laid siege to the Northwich defence.

However they were repeatedly thwarted by a defensive display Poste described afterwards as among the most impressive he had seen during a long coaching career.

Northwich rise to third as a reward, a single point behind second-placed Stockport, ahead of a home date with improving Broughton Park – victors in five of their past league games – at Moss Farm next weekend.

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

Additional reporting by Steve Wood