Sandal 23 Northwich 15
DREAMS of returning to Twickenham were dashed on Saturday as the Blacks exited the EDF Intermediate Cup at a bitterly cold Milnthorpe Green.
It was the third time that Northwich had visited the Wakefield-based outfit, the others being in the early 90s, but unfortunately for the visitors, the losing record continued.
The Blacks matched Sandal in the try-scoring stakes, crossing the whitewash on three occasions but the hosts made fewer mistakes and possessed, on the day, a more competent kicker in stand off Tom Smith.
Despite dominating the first-half, Northwich were 13-10 down at half-time. Steve Campbell levelled for the visitors on 30 minutes with a deserved try to cancel the hosts’ opener from man-of-the-match hooker Sam Tee.
Smith notched two penalties for Sandal before Blacks winger Adam Bown collected a clever kick from Matt Bebbington to score in injury time.
Tee scored his second try of the afternoon taking a quick tap-penalty and Northwich were beginning to fear the worst.
Richard Dale and Andrew Chubb added some fresh impetus off the bench but the hosts stretched their lead when fullback Tom Coad scored and with it went Northwich’s chances on mounting a fightback.
Hardworking Aussie Nigel Farrow grabbed a deserved late try after charging down a kick but it was a mere consolation for a disappointed Moss Farm side who now turn their attention back to North Two West action.
On Saturday, Northwich visit league leaders Rochdale (2.15pm).
Sefton 3rds 0 Northwich 2nds 35: Northwich’s second string produced an indifferent performance against the bottom side.
But despite not hitting the heights of previous scorelines, the verdict on Saturday was testament to the team’s determination to turn an under-par performance into a victory.
Tries were scored by Will Oultram, Danny Bell, Dave Harvey, John Keegan and Tom Wood. Lee Allmark and Carl Senior kicked a penalty and conversion each.
Other score: Northwich U15s 5 Chester U15s 36 (try: Vandersteen).