NORTHWICH and Winnington Park rugby clubs start their new league campaigns on Saturday.

Birkenhead Park will host Northwich, while Winnington will be at home to Bolton, both games kicking off at 3pm.

Winnington go into the season on the back of a 33-26 victory over Newcastle-under-Lyme in their final warm-up game over the weekend.

Northwich, meanwhile, although suffering a 25-11 loss at Sandbach in the Cheshire Vase on Saturday, will go forward in good heart.

Playing against opposition from a higher league and without a warm up match they were competitive if not cohesive.

From a penalty on 10 minutes the hosts controlled the set piece from a line out for the first try.

A high tackle saw Bradshaw leave the field for 10 minutes.

While down to 14 men the home side camped on the Blacks line with a series of scrums that saw them eventually rewarded with a second unconverted try. With two minutes of the half remaining Northwich pressure produced two penalties converted by Baldwin. Going into the break at 10-6 Northwich sensed an opportunity.

The second half started well for the Blacks as they started to apply some real pressure. With the visitors back to full strength it was the home side turn to lose a player for 10 minutes.

On the 58th minute Baldwin miscued a drop goal attempt. However, the ball bounced kindly for the Blacks an a hurried clearance was charged down and Vickery was on hand to ground the ball for an unconverted try and a one point lead.

With Northwich on the attack Barber kicked through and chased. He was unceremoniously impeded and Poste took a quick penalty a high tackle ensued. When the dust settled two Sandbach players received yellow cards and the faithful were left wondering why no penalty try was awarded.

Northwich waived the chance of three points but failed to take advantage of the greater numbers. Sandbach regained the lead with a try from a well organized lineout. Despite Northwich throwing everything at Sandbach they were unable to break them down and as the match drew to a close the best try of the match was scored by Sandbach.

A penalty with no time left gave the home side a 25-11 victory.

1 Mije Bradshaw 2 Mark Thompson 3 Ben Ridgeway 4 Chris Heywood 5 Tom Clark 6 Matt Ensor 7 Shaun Burmah 8 Phil Williams 9 Matt Poste (Capt) 10 Nick Baldwin 11 Tom Husbands 12 Richard Dale13 James Wood 14 Hayden Skinkis 15 Joel Barber 16 Fraser Dodd 17 Joe Laddle18 Richard Hart 19 John Harrison 20 Elis Vickery