NORTHWICH will visit league leaders Rossendale on Saturday on a winning note.

Blacks ended a run of four defeats when they overhauled Sandbach 21-5 at home on Saturday.

Harry Naylor made a return to first XV duty after a long absence with injury, but injured Taylor Haugh was added to the list of absentees and the selection headache was further compounded by the late withdrawal of Jack Braithwaite.

However, Jack Geraghty, Joe Christian, Eon Du Preez and Boitumelo Tsatsane made spirited contributions to an overall effort that Sam Naylor was extremely pleased with.

If ever the outcome of a Regional 1 North West match was going to be decided by a solid defence, this was it.

After almost 15 minutes of soaking up what Sandbach had to offer, the breakthrough came on the 20-minute mark when Tsatsane made a clean break.

He fed Eli Brizendine and he was halted Joe Christian was on hand to drive the ball over the line, with Tom Husbands adding the extras.

Five minutes later Tom Clark broke through initial tacklers and proved unstoppable in his race to the line to score a try which Husbands again had no problem converting.

The remainder of the half was somewhat a stalemate as both defences held firm and the opening 20 minutes of the second half was dominated by some resolute defending.

Then Sandbach hit back from a kick return and a chip kick that wrong-footed the Northwich defence.

The ball was collected by the visitors who went across the line for an easy score.

The extras went begging but Sandbach had a sniff of victory and went on the rampage.

Blacks were forced to withstand an assault on the line which proved decisive in the overall scheme of things.

As the visitors attacked the Northwich line, they were thwarted time and time again until they held Sandbach over the line to earn a well-deserved clearance kick.

With 10 minutes remaining a lineout deep in Sandbach territory was gathered by Blacks and the ball moved to the mercurial Du Preez who went through a gap to score a fine try.

Husbands’ extras proved to be the last points of the afternoon.

Rossendale, who have won eight of their nine matches so far, await on Saturday, kick-off 2.15pm.

Northwich (15-9, 1-8): Austin Fernandez, Tom Husbands, Boitumelo Tsatsane, Logan Mitchell, Eli Brizendine, Jack Geraghty, Harry Naylor, Gabriel Sipapate, Jordan Clarke, Rory Leijdekkers, Patrick Douglas, Tom Clark, Aaron Collins, Sam Patterson, Eon Du Preez. Replacements: Joe Christian, Richard Dale, Callum Hulbert