TURNS out history does repeat.

A year ago to the day, Nick Baldwin landed a penalty with seconds to spare that secured a narrow win for Northwich.

He did the same on Saturday, although the stakes were higher and circumstances more dramatic.

Warrington trailed 10-8 entering added time, and celebrated with gusto when Ben Hockenhull brilliantly executed a drop-goal.

After three successive defeats against Blacks, they sensed their fortunes had changed.

However Martin Poste’s men refuse to accept they’re beaten and, gifted a chance to punish their hosts’ indiscipline straight from the restart, they accepted.

To them, this will feel a more satisfying success than the one 12 months earlier.

They scored fewer tries, and were less expansive, but they blunted an attack that had averaged at least 30 points in each of their previous five home games this season.

All of those had ended in a Warrington victory too.

That Northwich achieved such a feat despite significant upheaval is proof of their increasing resilience.

They started the contest without unavailable prop Tom King, while a shoulder injury prevented Kyle Lindsay from hooking.

Ben Ridgway’s involvement ended early after the game’s first scrum, meaning none of the front-row from a win at Stockport last time out were on the field.

Conor Lapniewski, Mark Thompson and Callum Hulbert proved able understudies, but it was unsurprising that Blacks spent the opening quarter on the back-foot while they strived for coherence.

When they found it, the hosts only had a Hockenhull penalty to show for their territorial dominance.

Northwich Guardian:

Martin Balshaw is taken to ground by two Warrington players during a close-encounter with Northwich on Saturday. Picture: Ken Houghton

The contest remained close though, and Northwich restored parity only in the first-half’s final minute when Baldwin’s three-pointer sailed between the posts.

Buoyed, they established an interval lead from their next attacking move when full-back Joel Barber made a decisive break, skittling several defenders before touching down in the corner.

Baldwin converted, making it 10-3.

Sam Naylor, filling in at second-row, also limped off before the break after suffering a deep cut to his knee.

The interval did not halt Northwich momentum, and they camped in Warrington’s half for a prolonged spell after the turnaround.

Unable to match their opponents’ bulk at the scrum, they strived for other ways to lay a foundation.

Line-outs proved a fruitful alternative, although a breakthrough did not arrive.

Instead Warrington wriggled free from their guests’ stranglehold when a first meanigful foray of the half yielded a well-taken try.

However Hockenhull, usually so reliable, fluffed the conversion.

It was to prove costly.

With tension high, both teams finished the contest a man short after Wire stand-off Tom Wood and Northwich flanker Martin Balshaw were sent to the sin bin.

Warrington, unbeaten since February in a North One West fixture on home turf, mustered a final assault.

Centre Kieran Hughes thought he had notched a match-clinching try, only to be held up by a perfectly-timed last-ditch tackle on the line.

Instead Hockenhull’s quick-thinking did inch his side in front, but their joy was fleeting.

Against Northwich, it’s becoming a familiar feeling.

Northwich | Ridgway, Thompson, Hulbert, Heywood, Naylor, English, Balshaw, Richard Dale, Poste, Baldwin, Skinkis, Reilly, Underhill, Houghton, Barber Replacements Lapniewski, Farley, Montgomery Try Barber Con Baldwin Pens Baldwin (2)