2 RUGBY UNION: Northwich clinch title after derby success

What? South Lancs/Cheshire Division One

When? April 23

Where? Burrows Hill

The fixture list threw up every Winnington Park supporter’s worst nightmare; the prospect of neighbours Northwich securing promotion, and with it the title, if they won the teams’ latest derby meeting at Burrows Hill.

And that’s exactly what happened.

The hosts stayed in the contest for an opening half-hour during which they defended with discipline.

But Blacks, as they had been for every opponent in South Lancs/Cheshire Division One, proved just too strong for the remainder.

A comprehensive 61-5 success was enabled them to reach their objective in style, and with two games to spare.

A 19th successive victory, it repeated their feat from 2007.

How we reported it: http://bit.ly/1Ua0YHd

How we Tweeted it:

Our sports writer remembers:

“There was a feeling of inevitability about Northwich’s victory at a sun-soaked Burrows Hill.

“They had won their previous 18 matches, while Winnington Park’s demotion had already been secured following a sequence of 12 defeats in 13 games.

“The hosts proved stubborn opponents initially, before succumbing to a physically superior foe.

“Blacks had fallen short in previous attempts to return to step six of the RFU’s pyramid, but the recruitment of Martin Poste as director of rugby proved an inspired one.

“He skilfully inspired a group that had played together for a long time, adding classy signings like Jimmy Reilly and Nick Baldwin along the way.

“They certainly raised standards, and their nous at delicate moments was crucial, but this success tasted sweet for a squad that remained recognisably home-grown.”

Northwich Guardian:

Northwich players celebrate their promotion success after a 61-5 victory against Winnington Park at Burrows Hill in April. Picture: Dave Gillespie