NORTHWICH have had better days.

This was a struggle to get to grips with opponents that adapted better to sodden conditions, and they slipped to a second away defeat of the season as a result.

A week without a game gives them time to regroup.

They trailed early on Saturday afternoon when Doug Day landed a penalty awarded for offside.

The home team added to their advantage when Richard McCartney kicked cross-field and Day won a chase to the ball as it bounced behind Blacks’ line.

He converted his own try to make it 10-0.

Northwich responded with a trademark score following a counter-attack, Kyle Lindsay making a telling pass to full-back Joel Barber before he dotted down.

Nick Baldwin added the extras to close a gap between the teams at the break.

All of the points after the interval came from a kicker’s boot.

Northwich infringed twice, both times straying offside, for Day to slot three-pointers during the early exchanges after the interval.

Blacks spent time in their opponents’ territory, although the pressure they applied was resisted.

Day was penalised for not releasing in the tackle after the away side had threatened to score a breakaway try, and Baldwin duly converted the resulting penalty.

However Manchester were beyond reach again when Day kicked another penalty, his fourth of the contest, with 10 minutes left after a defender again erred.

It denied Blacks a bonus point, and they slip to fourth in the North One West table as a result.

They lost prop Conor Lapniewski, who had filled in admirably for Brad Bates, to an injury before the final whistle.

He followed James Reilly, whose involvement had also ended early.

Both hope to recover in time for a home date with Carlisle at Moss Farm on Saturday week, October 21.

Northwich | Hulbert, Lindsay, Lapniewski, Farley, Heywood, Richard Dale, Sam Naylor, Chris Dale, Poste, Baldwin, Skinkis, Reilly, Underhill, Houghton, Barber Replacements Eddie Naylor, Stirk, Dudley Try Barber Con Baldwin Pen Baldwin