NORTHWICH RUFC have been relegated from the Regional One North West.

Their fate was sealed on Saturday by a heavy defeat at Leek – one of the two teams they were battling with to avoid the drop.

Victory would have taken them out of the drop zone but a 64-20 loss means they can no longer catch their rivals, meaning their three-season stay in the division is over.

Blacks actually started the match strongly and controlled the early possession and territory, but their only reward was a Harry Naylor penalty and as the midway point of the half approached, Leek took command.

Two quick tries got the scoreboard moving and while another Naylor penalty reduced the gap to eight points, another two converted scores secured a bonus point for the hosts and put the writing on the wall for Northwich.

Trailing 31-6 at the break, Blacks had no choice but to attack and they did so, with good work from Richard Dale releasing Tom Husbands to score a try he duly converted himself.

However, that only served to wake Leek up and a rampage of four unanswered tries ended the match as a contest.

Skipper Rory Leijdekkers barged over for a try converted by Husbands which gave Northwich hope of the four-try bonus point that would have kept them mathematically alive going into the final day, and they threw caution to the wind in pursuit of it.

However, it was Leek who rounded off the scoring to seal their own survival at Blacks’ expense.

Northwich’s final game of the season sees them welcome Blackburn to Moss Farm on Saturday, April 6.

Northwich: Taylor Haugh, Tom Husbands, Jack Owens, Zac Richardson, Austin Fernandez, Logan Taylor, Harry Naylor, Callum Hulbert, Fraser Dodd, Rory Leijdekkers, Sam Naylor, Patrick Douglas, Aaron Collins, Jonny Pym, Richard Dale. Subs: Tom Wilson, Anthony Keller, Oliver Kenny