Northwich 16 Altrincham Kersal 5
WITH last season’s glorious EDF Senior Vase victory at Twickenham still fresh in the memory, Northwich took their first step on the way back to rugby’s HQ on Saturday.
In a hard-fought encounter at Moss Farm, Kevin Greaves’ men came out on top over league rivals Altrincham Kersal in a 16-5 EDF Intermediate Cup first-round victory.
Visiting Kersal, who lie one place above Northwich in North West Two, decided to rest four of their first choice XV and it showed.
The hosts were forced into an immediate reshuffle after losing fly-half Matt Bebbington to injury.
But despite the disruption the Blacks settled and on the 15-minute mark a slick backs move saw Steve Campbell score an excellent try.
Richard Dale added a penalty towards the end of the half to increase Northwich’s half-time advantage.
The visitors dominated the second half and 15 minutes in they were rewarded with a pushover driving maul which was claimed by prop Craig Dawson.
Kiwi fullback Simon Pratt knocked over a penalty to ease the pressure and the game was sealed when Campbell broke downfield to set up Adam Bown for a try in the corner.
Northwich host AK again on Saturday (3pm ko), this time in the league, but they will still be without skipper Richard Smith.
The RL England Lionhearts star further damaged his injured knee during his first game back for the second team.
Other scores: Northwich 2nds 52 Crewe & Nantwich 2nds 0. Northwich U15s 22 Crewe and Nantwich U15s 5 (tries: Jack Vandersteen 2, Chris Sheppard and Joe Halsall; cons: Sheppard).