NORTHWICH Rugby Club suffered their heaviest and most embarrassing defeat of the campaign to date when they lost 38-10 to Kendal, a team 14 points adrift of them before kick-off.

It could be argued that having lost six players prior to travelling to Cumbria because of injury, suspension or work commitments, Blacks would come unstuck against their more determined, committed and disciplined opponents.

Perhaps being safe from relegation, and a probable mid-table finish a possibility, played its part in the lacklustre, careless and error strewn performance which forwards coach Steve Dorrington described post-match as ‘woeful’.

Director of rugby Martin Poste was a little more philosophical when he added: “We were hampered by the absence of several key players but it was certainly a bad day at the office. We could and should have done better against a team below us in the league and at the end of the day there are no excuses. We were poor!”

Northwich were punished by the Cumbrians in the first period when a series of errors gifted several soft tries from which Blacks never recovered. By half time, Kendal had secured a try-scoring bonus via four tries, two of which were converted.

Northwich had mustered a solitary try after the recalled Richard Hart charged down a clearance kick, Mphatso Mwhashi tapped the ball back to Nick Baldwin whose chip to the corner resulted in Tom Husband touching down.

Northwich did start the second period in a more lively fashion when Hart, Baldwin, Scott Davidson and Ehtyn Martin combined to put Husband in for his second try.

Any hopes of a typical Northwich fight back were dashed when a driving Kendal maul crashed over the whitewash under the sticks.

In the process, scrum half Hart suffered a serious foot injury but soldiered on for a further five minutes before being stretchered off with what transpired to be two broken bones in his left foot,

Before he departed the fray, Hart had combined with Martin to put Husband in the clear for what would have been a hat-trick but the speedster was adjudged to have put his foot in touch as he attempted a dive for the line.

Northwich are still nine points ahead of Kendal and have a re-arranged fixture away to Wirral on Saturday.