A NORTH-WESTERN affair was decided by the influence of three New Zealanders on Saturday.
The Kiwi hooker and two half-backs were the game's outstanding figures and the difference between two once regular rivals, now separated by the league system, in this friendly clash.
Northwich looked set for one of their better performances and for 20 minutes dominated the game, but without scoring.
By half-time, Heaton had forged into a 17-point lead and shortly after the resumption completed their scoring, albeit with a dubious try in which the ball appeared spilled before being grounded.
Andy Joseph reduced the arrears and Mike Gallimore's kick was good, but the final 20 minutes fizzled out.
There were, however, excellent wins for Northwich's support teams.
The 2nds beat Old Salians 17-3 (John Blower, Jason Christie, James Brunlees tries; Christie con); 3rds beat Buxton 53-12 (Brian Williams 2, Nigel Gorman, Tony Heaton, Ian Dale, Tim Pickering, Chris Mort tries; Pete Davies 5 cons, drop).
Saturday: 1st away v Anselmians; 2nds, 3rds away v Ashton-on-Mersey. WINNINGTON Park 1st, without a fixture, took the day off and the 2nds were roundly beaten by Preston Grasshoppers 57-10 at Burrows Hill.
Park started well with good runs by Mark Pheonix and Will Sharpe. The forwards were causing problems, too, and twice came close to scoring.
Preston put the first points on the board, though, after a mix-up in the back division let the visitors' centre in for a converted try. Park took the game straight back to the other end of the pitch and were rewarded with a pushover try by No.8 Simon Newall.
Just before half-time, veteran scrum-half John Pickering lost possession in the tackle which resulted in the Preston stand-off scrambling over to make it 12-5 at the interval.
At the restart, Park lost concentration again as Preston were first to react to a charged-down kick to score almost from the kick-off.
The Park forwards, led by Tim Cross, came back into the game with some good recycling and eventually got a scrum 10 metres from Preston's line. After a good shove from props Will Burgess and Mark Taylor, Pickering picked up at the base of the scrum and bulldozed over to make it 19-10.
With 30 minutes left, Preston started to bring on their replacements. This was to prove too much for Winnington as the younger, fitter back division of Preston started to run the ball wide - and regularly over the line.
But Winnington's Seniors redressed the balance with a 38-5 win over Preston without several key players.
Tom Allerton scored two tries and Mike Breen one, as well as kicking five conversions and a penalty. Pat
Freestone and Sam Kirkpatrick were the other scorers. Winnington won the U14s derby at Northwich 58-10. Andrew Evans scored a hat-trick for
Park. Saturday v Blackburn: 1st away, 2nds home.