WITH Stockport below Northwich in the league and home advantage it was reasonable to expect more from the match than Blacks achieved as they fell 32-17.

Stockport visited Moss Farm with a game plan that was extremely well executed and went home deserved winners.

A flu bug during the week took toll on several players and the effects seemed to carry on into the match where Blacks put in a lethargic performance.

There was lots of effort, with Sam Patterson and man-of-the-match Eon Du Preez leading the way.

But it was a frustrating contest for Northwich and the coaching team will be working hard what will be a difficult trip to Manchester on Saturday.

Throughout the first half Northwich had plenty of ball but failed to breach the Stockport defence to turn round 19-0 behind.

From a maul and a significant amount of pressure Stockport finally crossed the line for a converted try in the 18th minute.

A loose pass allowed Stockport to counter and eventually score from deep to double their advantage.

Northwich were again punished for not keeping control of the ball when a turnover at the ruck was followed by a kick deep and after the unkindest of bounces the ball was regathered by the visitors for their third try.

A Stockport yellow card and subsequent scrum led to a fine pass putting Eli Brizendine over to open the Northwich account.

This glimmer of hope lasted until the 50th minute when Blacks failed to exit their 22 and the visitors applied pressure to the Northwich line which was rewarded with a converted try.

A further Stockport penalty almost put the result beyond doubt but after a switch pass led to Tom Clark crossing for a try that was converted by Tom Husbands.

As the gap narrowed there was some hope that a bonus point or two could be secured.

This was not the case as the final act was a successful penalty kick for Stockport.

Northwich: Taylor Haugh, Jack Braithwaite, Boitumelo Tsatsane, Logan Mitchell, Eli Brizendine, Jack Geraghty, Austin Fernandez, Gabriel Sipapate, Jordan Clarke, Rory Leijdekkers, Sam Patterson, Tom Clark, Eon Du Preez, Jack England, Joe Christian. Replacements: Richard Dale, Jack Braithwaite, Aaron Collins.