FEW would have believed, that after last week’s disappointing performance at Stockport the Blacks could turn things around so spectacularly.

Penrith are a difficult side to beat at the best of times and at home they are a formidable outfit.

But the visitors left with a 39-29 victory to their credit.

With Tom Wood unavailable Martin Poste moved Richard Dale back to centre and further injuries to Jan Cartman and Mark Thompson forced Poste to accelerate the return of Joe Maddocks to the front row. This turned out to be a great decision as Joe made a fantastic return to the fold. The setting at Penrith is second to none as was the pre-match hospitality. However, on the field of play the hospitality was less welcoming.

The match started and continued at a ferocious pace and it was Penrith who took the initiative.

From a line-out they moved the ball wide and a delayed pass created an opening for the easiest of scores.

As the first quarter drew to a close the home side’s lead was extended.

With two players in the sin bin Northwich conceded a penalty close to the line. The scrum option allowed Penrith to pressure the blacks and score an unconverted try.

This was awake up call for Northwich and there response was to apply some pressure of their own.

Mid-way into the second quarter they scored two tries the first came from a good build-up that gave Man of the Match Nick Baldwin the opportunity to chip and collect to score a try which, he duly converted.

Five minutes later it was once again the architect Baldwin whose accurate cross kick found Husbands who scored a try to level the scores.

With the half reaching the 40 minute mark there was still time for two more tries. The first was handed to the home side when a lose Northwich pass was collected and swiftly punished with an unconverted try.

With the half deep in stoppage time the blacks won a lineout and the subsequent drive for the line gave Naylor a score and the half closed at 17-17.

The home side drew first blood in the second half when a quick line-out caught the Blacks napping and Penrith ran in a try. Northwich responded with a Baldwin penalty when the home side failed to release in the tackle.

The next score came when the Blacks pounced on a loose ball and following some great support play Merrick was tackled close to the line and Richard Dale was on hand to score a converted try.

By now the visitors were in control and following some great pressure Chris James finished off a great build up with a well earned score.

As the match moved towards its conclusion Northwich mounted another attack and the ball reached Balding 10 metres out and he charged for the line to score an individual try.

He added the extras to round off a superb performance.

There was still more to come as the home side refused to roll over. They were rewarded in stoppage time with a converted try.

However, it was too late for them to pick up another bonus point.

Northwich entertain Broughton Park on Saturday, kick off 2.15pm.

1 Mike Bradshaw 2 Chris James 3 Joe Maddocks 4 Chris Heywood 5 Patrick Fray 6 Matt Ensor 7 Chris Dale 8 Sam Naylor 9 Matt Poste (Capt) 10 Nick Baldwin 11 Tom Husbands 12 Scott Davidson13 Richard Dale 14 Shaun Burma 15 Kyle Clarke 16 Mike Gough 17 Tom Merrick 18 Anthony Keller