OFTEN the outcome of a match does not tell the whole picture, as was Saturday’s 66-13 home loss for Northwich against Macclesfield.

Blacks were only too aware of the pedigree of the Macclesfield team and that this would be the toughest of matches.

There was a lot to applaud in the attitude and commitment shown by all the players.

The coaching team will be pleased with many aspects of the match, with a realisation there is still plenty to be done and Leek will present the next challenge at home on Saturday, kick-off 2.15pm.

Northwich, plagued by injury and absenteeism including skipper Rory Leijdekkers and the previous week’s man of the match, Sam Patterson, were served well by those stepping in, Adam Ollier and Anthony Keller, but the match started badly for Blacks with an early try conceded.

The writing seemed to be on the wall but, nevertheless, Northwich seized the initiative and for the next 10 minutes showed they could ask questions of their illustrious visitors.

Taylor Haugh kept probing with some excellent forays and Boitumelo Tsatsane was solid in attack and defence.

However, all the Northwich possession failed to produce a score.

On the 20-minute mark an attacking scrum close to the Northwich line proved dominant. Stand-in prop Patrick Douglas was adjudged to have transgressed, a penalty try was awarded along with a yellow card to Douglas.

Not to be deterred the Blacks response was positive.

Callum Hulbert was becoming more involved making some excellent carries while man-of-the-match Eon Du Preez was at the heart of the forward drive. The reward was a Tom Husbands penalty on the half-hour.

With 38 minutes gone a Macclesfield catch and drive proved unstoppable, as the visitors scored a converted try.

In stoppage time a long-range penalty from the boot of Harry Naylor pegged the scoreline back.

There was still time for the visitors to add to the scoreline. From a lineout and a series of off-loads Macc scored a fine try which was converted, giving them a 26-6 lead.

The second half resumed with Blacks trying to exit their 22. The kick was charged down and Macclesfield pounce to add another seven points to their tally.

This seemed to knock the wind out of the Northwich sails and provide Macclesfield with the confidence to attack at every opportunity.

This resulted in three further tries, one of which was converted.

There is plenty of character in this Northwich team which was evident on the 70th minute.

Leading from the front throughout the match, stand-in skipper Richard Dale took a quick tap penalty. His break was followed by a chip-kick, the ball was swiftly re-cycled and Husbands was on hand to score a well deserved try which he duly converted.

Macclesfield continued to show why they are title contenders, adding two further tries.

Northwich (15-9, 1-8): Taylor Haugh, Tom Husbands, Boitumelo Tsatsane, Logan Mitchell, Eli Brizendine, Liam Batt, Harry Naylor, Callum Hulbert, Eon Du Preez, Patrick Douglas, Anthony Keller, Tom Clark, Aaron Collins, Jonny Pym, Richard Dale. Replacements: Adam Ollier, Austin Fernandez, Jonny Pym.