NORTHWICH begin a potentially defining month in their campaign when they host Birkenhead Park on Saturday.

Blacks sit fifth in North One West, two points adrift of a promotion play-off place, at the start of 2019.

However with three home games in January, including a visit from second-placed Stockport, they have an opportunity to improve their position.

Martin Poste’s side will be determined as well to put behind them a 30-7 defeat against Warrington in the final fixture before Christmas – a reverse that halted a seven-match winning run.

“It’s one to put out of our mind, but we if we can take something constructive from it we will,” said Blacks’ director of rugby.

READ > How Northwich will learn lesson from defeat at Warrington

Meanwhile Matt Farr has reminded Winnington Park’s players they can compete at a higher level ahead of a testing trip to Bowdon.

The men from Burrows Hill sit sixth in Lancs/Cheshire Division One at the turn of the year after signing off for 2018 with wins against Sefton and Hoylake.

“We can go into 2019 confident we can hold our own,” said the head coach.

“We’ve played the top teams and only been beaten narrowly, so we’ve all to play for in the return games.”

READ > Eight tries for Winnington Park in cruise against Hoylake


Saturday, January 5

RFU Northern Division (ko 2.15pm)

North One West: Northwich v Birkenhead Park.

Lancs/Cheshire Division One: Bowdon v Winnington Park.

North West Intermediate League (ko 2.15pm)

Division Two South: Liverpool Collegiate 2nd v Northwich 2nd; Winnington Park 2nd v Bowdon 2nd.

Division Four South: Leek 2nd v Northwich 3rd; Sandbach 3rd v Winnington Park 3rd.

Sunday, January 6

RFU Women’s National Challenge (ko 2pm)

North Two West: Winnington Park v Bury.

North West Colts League (ko 2pm)

Senior C: Leigh v Winnington Park.

Senior D: Colne & Nelson v Northwich.