IT took a team at the top of the table to halt Northwich Sapphires’ five-match winning run in the North West Championship League on Sunday.

They went down 76-53 against title-favourites Oldham, victors in seven of their previous eight matches, in a Division One fixture at Winsford Lifestyle Centre.

A second quarter during which they struggled to keep out their opponents proved costly but Sapphires rallied strongly following the interval to close a gap on the scoreboard.

Lauren Watson was chosen afterwards as their player-of-the-match.

Sapphires sit fifth with one game left of their debut campaign at a higher level when Blackpool visit next month.