THE weather was worse than previously, but Northwich were at their best on and off the field on Saturday.

Their volunteers prepared an adjacent pitch at Moss Farm after heavy rain left their regular one waterlogged, and Blacks rewarded their effort with an impressive victory.

“It proves we’re a true blue collar community club,” said Martin Poste, their director of rugby.

“We have people who are prepared to get stuck in and work hard when required, and they do so with a great team ethos.

“Without that support, the game would never have gone ahead.”

His side sit third in North One West after recording a bonus-point success against Carlisle.

They did so without talismanic captain Chris Dale, who is ruled out indefinitely by an injury, while the backs division was depleted too by the absence of Robin Houghton, James Reilly and Will Du Randt.

Dara Cairns, at prop, suspended his retirement to make a first start since March 2015.

The home team played against a strong wind in the opening period, and kept the ball close in order to make up ground.

They claimed the contest’s first points when Bud Skinkis chased Matthew Poste’s clever kick before gathering and touching down.

Sam Naylor had fed the scrum-half after winning the ball at a scrum.

A second try followed on the half-hour.

Northwich secured possession at a lineout, and their forwards executed a controlled drive before releasing the ball to Nick Baldwin.

He dummied a pass to Skinkis, and instead sent in Joel Barber to score.

The full-back dotted down again shortly afterwards after Naylor had picked up from a scrum and created space for his teammate.

Carlisle managed to get on the scoreboard too before the break when substitute James Brocket won a foot-race to the home team’s line.

Backed by the wind, Northwich applied pressure to their guests’ defence in the second period.

They secured a bonus-point when Kyle Lindsay forced his way over after a lineout catch-and-drive.

The Cumbrians rallied though, and Blacks lost two players to the sin bin as punishment for a series of infringements.

With a numerical advantage, Carlisle notched a second try when lock Rory Parish powered over from unstoppable maul.

Normal service was resumed when Northwich returned to a full complement though, and replacement John English added his name to a list of try-scorers following a rolling maul.

Blacks head to Altrincham Kersal next Saturday, kick-off 3pm.

Northwich | Hulbert, Lindsay, Cairns, Farley, Dudley, Heywood, Sam Naylor, Balshaw, Poste, Baldwin, Skinkis, Richard Dale, Underhill, Stirk, Barber Replacements Eddie Naylor, Lapniewski, English Tries Skinkis, Barber (2), Lindsay, English