MARTIN Poste had warned beforehand that his side may be short of match-sharpness for the visit of a higher-ranked foe.

He was right, and Blacks’ opponents scored four tries during the final quarter of a contest that had been an even one for an hour.

It means the defence of a Cheshire RFU Vase title that Northwich so stylishly last season is over already.

They will attempt to recover at the first attempt when they visit Rochdale for a North One West opener this Saturday, kick-off 3pm.

Lymm registered their first try after 23 minutes at Moss Farm last weekend, when Rich McEvoy went over.

Cormac Nolan kicked a conversion.

Northwich’s response was swift, and Robin Houghton replied after captain Chris Dale’s burst had dissected the visitors’ defensive line.

Nick Baldwin duly added the extras.

McEvoy doubled his personal tally after Andy Davies led a charge from the hosts’ 10-metre line, and Nolan’s boot made it 14-7 at the interval.

Blacks were brighter at the start of the second period, applying sustained pressure.

And they earned a deserved reward when Kyle Lindsay crossed after a maul formed following a lineout.

Lymm, eighth in National League Three North last season, demonstrated their class when Davies applied a finishing flourish to a flowing team move.

Nolan converted, and the visitors went on to add three more tries as the home team tired.

Sam Mullarkey, captain Adam Bray and Rob Makin dotted down, the latter after combining with his front-row partners.

Nolan improved on two of the three scores to secure safe passage to the competition’s last four.

Northwich | Bates, Lindsay, Thompson, Hulbert, Heywood, Naylor, English, Chris Dale, Poste, Baldwin, Reilly, Underhill, Richard Dale, Houghton, Du Randt Replacements Hart, Dodd, Edwards, Brown Tries Houghton, Lindsay Con Baldwin

Lymm | Woods, Makin, O’Callagan, Watson, Adam Bray, White, Sutherland, Mullarkey, Davies, Redfern, Lucas Titherington, Tom Bray, Kimber, McEvoy, Nolan Replacements Millington, Stewart, Shard, Robinson, Will Titherington Tries McEvoy (2), Davies, Mullarkey, Adam Bray, Makin Cons Nolan (5)

Match report by Steve Wood