THE top two may have pulled away a little in the North One West, but Northwich are leading the chasing pack.

Back-to-back wins means they sit third – six points behind Birkenhead Park in second and at the head of a tightly-bunched group of seven teams separated by only five points.

They make the trip to the Isle of Man to face one of them – fourth-place Douglas – after their two-week break on December 7.

Broughton Park were beaten 23-15 at Moss Farm on Saturday in a game that perhaps should have been more comfortable than it was.

When Tom Husbands opened the scoring after a series of carries, it looked as if the visitors would be overpowered.

Not so, however, and the game was delicately poised at the break with Blacks 8-5 ahead after Nick Baldwin added a penalty on the stroke of half time.

Mike Gough crossed from a driving maul after the restart but back came Broughton Park again, kicking a penalty before an interception try put the cat among the pigeons.

In the final 10 minutes, however, Blacks reasserted themselves and gambling on taking an attacking scrum penalty paid off as Joe Maddocks forced himself over the line to give them a three-point lead.

Deep into stoppage time, the win was sealed following a stolen lineout as Sam Naylor found winger Shaun Burma for the game’s final score.

Northwich: Mike Bradshaw, Mike Gough, Joe Maddocks, Chris Heywood, Patrick Fray, Matt Ensor, Chris Dale, Phil Williams, Matt Poste, Nick Baldwin, Tom Husbands, Scott Davidson, Sam Naylor, Shaun Burma, Kyle Clarke. Subs: Joe Laddle, Tom Merrick, Tom Clark