WITH so much rain during the week Northwich’s match at home to Firwood Waterloo was in doubt.

However, the pitch, although heavy was fit to play. This was a relief to Northwich as some off field events were relying on the match going ahead.

They were even more grateful afterwards with the Blacks winning 16-12.

Director of Rugby Martin Poste had to do without Richard Dale, Martin Poste, Phil Williams and Shaun Burmah but was able to call on Chris James and Aaron Collins to strengthen the bench.

With little to chose between the two sides this contest had all the hallmarks of a classic.

It turned out to be a disappointment in terms of running rugby as both teams slogged it out in what was an arm wrestle for the entire 80 minutes.

It wasn’t until the match entered the second quarter that the scoreboard came into use.

Nick Baldwin slotted a penalty awarded to the home side for dissent.

On the half hour mark the visitors took the lead.

A speculative 22 drop out wasn’t gathered by the blacks and FW pounced to score in the corner.

The extras were added and the visitors seemed to take control.

As the half drew to a close Baldwin landed another penalty awarded for offside. At the break it was FW who had deserved one point lead.

A third Baldwin penalty gave the blacks the lead 15 minutes after the restart.

At the start of the final quarter a Northwich attack broke down handing the initiative to FW who countered with speed to finish with a nice try that went unconverted..

With the seconds ticking away it looked like the visitors would take the spoils.

This would not be the case as Northwich applied pressure they were awarded a penalty that would certainly have lead to a drawn match.

However, Hart took a quick tap and the ball was moved wide for Man of the Match Heywood to score giving Baldwin an easy conversion and seal an unexpected victory for the Blacks.

The collective sigh of relief was audible as this was certainly a fortunate victory in an unremarkable match.

Poste was obviously delighted with the outcome but knows the lads will need to improve significantly if they are progress up the table.

Northwich: 1 Mike Bradshaw 2 Mike Gough 3 Mark Thompson 4 Chris Heywood 5 Patrick fray 6 Chris Dale 7 Sam Naylor 8 Matt Ensor 9 Richard Hart 10 Nick Baldwin 11 Tom Husbands12 Tom Wood13 Scott Davidson 14 Kyle Clarke 15 Joel Barber 16 Chris James 17 Aaron Collins18 Jan Cartman

Northwich travel to Keswick on Saturday, kick off 3pm.