Wigan 39, Northwich 12: NORTHWICH are still teetering on the brink of relegation following a heavy defeat on Saturday at the hands of an improving Wigan outfit, who have recently picked up some disenchanted Orrell play-ers and look the classier for it.
Director of Rugby Steve Wood did his best to fire up a Northwich team missing a number of key players and shored up with a couple of fairly inexperienced 2nd XV players.
It looked as though his team talk may have produced the goods as Northwich went into the half-time interval leading 12-10.
A break from Richard Norton had set up Dave Massey for a try, to give the visitors a deserved lead twenty minutes into the first half, although the conversion attempt by Ricky Evans failed. Wigan hit straight back with an unconverted touchdown and then went ahead when slack tackling gifted their left winger an easy run-in. The conversion failed and half-time was approaching when Andy Allen levelled with a fine try and Evans obliged with the conversion to give Northwich the lead.
However, it was not to be, a combination of lucky bounces and the exposure of a weakness on the Northwich right saw Wigan bag three quick tries. At 29-12 the game was lost, but Northwich battled on. The result was that first John Brotherton and then Massey left the field injured, but a penalty and a last-minute soft try saw Wigan home.
Northwich have no league game this week but need a win from one of their three remaining league fixtures to avoid the drop.
The 2nd XV, who were depleted having moved some of their squad up to the 1sts, still managed to see off a competent Wigan second string at Moss Farm. Northwich were deserving 28-18 winners and scored tries through Mike Penny, Adam Lang, Adam Bown and Dane Walker. Carl Senior converted all four.
The 3rds lost at Wigan 38-0. Saturday: 1st XV pool, 2nds away, 3rds home v Congleton.
Juniors: U16s beat Widnes 22-15, including tries from Dave Garner, Tom Stringer and Joe Baker; U14s beat Manchester 51-12; U13s lost to Manchester 21-7.