CREWE and Nantwich avoided a potential banana skin and broken glass as they kept up their promotion bid with a deserved win at Wallasey.
Concentration was hindered and pre-match warm-ups abandoned when Crewe arrived at the Merseyside ground, only to find the pitch strewn with shattered glass.
Arrangements to play at a different venue were quickly made and, although preparations left a lot to be desired, the visitors refused to be put off their game against a handy fourth-placed Wallasey side.
Crewe opened their account early on when Will Potts fed Don Ngatia, who steamed through the Wallasey defence to score. Danny Lynch converted.
But their advantage was quickly reduced after the home side forced their way over from a try after winning a five-metre scrum. Crewe hit back with a five-metre scum of their own, winger Andy O'Keeffe crashing over in the corner to make it 12-5 at the interval.
The South Cheshire side stepped up their game after the break but, facing a strong wind, found points hard to come by. Ngatia grabbed his second try of the day when he gathered Lynch's high kick upfield to run over the line.
A team spokesman said:
'Coach Matt Farr's remark in the changing room afterwards that a 'win is a win' just about summed up the day.
'In contrast to the previous Saturday's entertaining and well-organised win over league leaders Anselmians, the weekend saw Crewe very much off the boil.
'Although the win was deserved, due to three well-constructed tries, play in between was very ragged.
'To be fair, the change of venue didn't help the players and a bitterly cold wind left handling and passing skills at a premium.' * Crewe seconds came away from Wrexham with a 20-17 victory. The thirds won 25-21 at home to Bowdon, and the fourths defeated Linley seconds 20-7.
On Saturday the firsts travel to face Ashton-on-Mersey, while the seconds and thirds are at home to Didsbury and Knutsford respectively. * Crewe and Nantwich U13s took their 2005 unbeaten run on the road to West Yorkshire on Sunday and beat a big Cleckheaton U13s team 24-14. The scores came from Ross Cooper (2), Ian Merrill, and Sean Harper. Scott Cann kicked two conversions. nCrewe and Nantwich U8s continued their fine run of form to record an excellent 11-9 win over Leek at the weekend.