IN reflecting upon Northwich’s 43-3 loss at Rossendale, it is true to say that sometimes a scoreline does not tell the whole story.

There was no doubting that Rossendale were the stronger of the two outfits.

However, Northwich made a major contribution in producing a fine match that was competitive throughout.

The trip to league leaders Rossendale was always going to be difficult, but injuries and absences deprived the squad of six players.

Elliot Kelsall, Jonny Pym and new boy Zac Richardson were among those drafted into the squad along with coach Sam Naylor.

All these changes meant that some players were selected out of position, making the task ahead even more of a challenge.

Northwich took the match to their opponents in the first 10 minutes but they were unable to capitalise.

Rossendale began to control the ball and slowly started to pressure on Blacks.

On the 15-minute mark, the first try was scored by the home side and the extras were added.

The next 25 minutes were all about character and the Northwich defence was superb, with everyone committed to the cause - none more so than man-of-the-match Boitumelo Tsatsane.

Although this was a team effort special mention should also go to Jack Owens, Zac Richardson, Jonny Pym and Patrick Douglas, all of whom were excellent.

With the half deep in stoppage time Rossendale were awarded a scrum on the halfway line and despite some committed defending they launched a slick attack which was finished off with a well taken try which went unconverted.

Within five minutes of the restart Rossendale broke the visitors’ hearts.

From a scrum deep in their own half they showed some real class and with some great handling and support play they went almost the length of the pitch to score a converted try.

Blacks were awarded a penalty on the halfway line and Tsatsane opted to kick for goal, giving the visitors some well deserved points.

From the restart Blacks tried to run the ball from deep inside their own territory.

However, the ball was lost, and some good interplay led to a bonus-point try for the home side.

By now the match was running away from Northwich who were trying everything to gain parity.

This endeavour left the visitors exposed and Rossendale were able to run in a further three tries (two converted) the last of which was deep in stoppage time.

Despite defeat, there was much to applaud.

To a man the effort was supreme and the scoreline was flattering to the victors.

Blacks left Rossendale licking their wounds and will use this weekend’s break to prepare for the next round at home to Leek on December 2 in the knowledge that there is a lot more to come.

Northwich (15-9, 1-8): Richard Dale, Jack Owens, Boitumelo Tsatsane, Zac Richardson, Eli Brizendine, Logan Mitchell, Austin Fernandez, Gabriel Sipapate, Eon Du Preez, Rory Leijdekkers, Patrick Douglas, Callum Hulbert, Anthony Keller, Joe Christian, Jonny Pym. Replacements: Aaron Collins, Elliot Kelsall, Sam Naylor.