WILL Du Randt ran in a hat-trick of tries as Northwich ended a three-match losing run by squeezing past Leigh.

The visitors had lost every game on their travels in North One West this season, but a second-half rally almost earned them a reward of winning at Moss Farm.

Blacks, already depleted by absences through injury, were stretched further after Richard Dale hurt a hand.

Du Randt stepped up, and broke the deadlock midway through the opening period when he sped to the line after Robin Houghton and Joel Barber had moved the ball on quickly following captain Chris Dale’s initial charge.

Nick Baldwin added the extras.

A second score arrived shortly afterwards, this time after Bud Skinkis collected the ball before feeding Du Randt.

At the breakdown, possession moved again to Houghton and then Barber before the full-back darted down the blind-side of a ruck.

Baldwin was again on target, this time from a wide position.

The visitors were quick to respond, and prop Wayne McCabe crashed over the whitewash following a period of pressure that included several charges that were repelled by Blacks’ defence.

Elliott Ryan duly added a conversion.

The second period brought with it a stalemate until Du Randt recovered a clearance kick.

His return sparked a series of phases before replacement Chris Bradshaw, making his first appearance of the campaign after recovering from knee surgery, invited him to complete a personal treble on the right.

Baldwin’s conversion made it 21-7 to Northwich.

Leigh were resilient, and from an attacking scrum Kieran Duffy touched down.

Ryan’s extras reduced the deficit to seven points.

Baldwin’s penalty kick, after an opposing player had strayed offside, gave the hosts breathing space.

However a nervy finale followed Rob Drake’s try for Leigh – again converted by Ryan – as they attempted to complete a comeback.

Northwich held on though, closing to within a point of third place following Wilmslow’s 26-18 defeat at leaders Kirkby Lonsdale.

Lowly Rochdale host Blacks this Saturday, kick off 2.15pm.

Northwich | Hulbert, Thompson, Dudley, Smith, Farley, Heywood, Chris Dale, Naylor, Poste, Baldwin, Skinkis, Underhill, Barber, Houghton, Du Randt Replacements English, Bradshaw, Kania Tries Du Randt (3) Cons Baldwin (3) Pen Baldwin