NORTHWICH made the journey to Cumbria feeling optimistic following the overwhelming victory over Penrith at Moss Farm earlier in the season.

Any optimism proved unplaced as the Cumbrians took revenge in comprehensive style, winning 35-5 in foggy conditions.

The injury which forced the late withdrawal of Richard Dale and necessitated a reshuffle, as well as leaving Northwich with only two replacements, clearly disrupted the side.

Blacks actually took the lead in the opening five minutes.

An error from the kick-off gave Northwich a lineout that was taken quickly and following a series of charges Andre Nell finally forced himself over for the first try.

But the remainder of the half belonged to Penrith.

The home side took the lead on the 10th minute when they recovered a clearance kick and countered. A missed tackle provided a clear break, and a simple draw and pass gave Penrith the easiest of tries which they duly converted.

Ten minutes later another Northwich error led to the home side’s second try.

The ball was lost in contact and Penrith countered swiftly to score between the posts.

Northwich tried to get back on terms and looked likely to score.

However, a missed penalty kick by the visitors led to a third Penrith try which although against the run of play they deserved for their ambition and execution.

The half ended with Penrith ahead 21-5.

The second half resumed with Northwich taking control territorially, but unable to convert this into points.

Too many errors kept handing the initiative to the home side.

Blacks did have two good chances, the first of which came from a break by Taylor Haugh, but his chip kick fell kindly for Penrith. The second was a forward drive over the line but held up by the resilient home defence.

With 10 minutes remaining and Northwich trying to force the match Penrith were able to run in two more converted tries.

Northwich’s players will need to work hard during the week to prepare for the toughest of tests against high flying Macclesfield at Moss Farm on Saturday, kick-off 2.15pm Northwich (15-9, 1-8): Taylor Haugh, Tom Husbands, Boitumelo Tsatsane, Logan Mitchell, Eli Brizendine, Liam Batt, Austin Fernandez, Callum Hulbert, Eon Du Preez, Rory Leijdekkers, Patrick Douglas, Andre Nell, Aaron Collins, Joe Christian, Sam Patterson. Replacements: Zac Richardson, Jonny Pym