SANDBACH were outplayed and overpowered in their local derby on Saturday.
The Bradwall Road side hoped to get back to winning ways after a poor start to 2006, but they were never really at the races against a dominant Northwich side.
Sandbach were forced into changes due to injuries. Mark Bird came in at stand-off, Tom Strauss moved to the wing and Tim Jones was drafted in as substitute.
The hosts applied intense pressure from the off, and slotted a penalty after 20 minutes. Then, from a twisted scrum, Northwich made the most of a back-row fumble and a series of rucks eventually saw their captain dive over for a try which went unconverted.
Sandbach kick-started their performance and, from a five-metre scrum, they got a good drive on and were prevented from reaching the tryline when the Northwich front row brought down the scrum. The referee awarded a penalty try which was converted by Mark Bird to make it 8-7.
But sloppy play before the break allowed the home side's scrum-half to slip a tackle, draw full-back Russ Dymond, and put in the left winger for another unconverted try.
Sandbach talked of a comeback at the break, but it was not to be. Two tries for Northwich, both following poor Sandbach play, ended the game as a contest.
Sandbach mounted several drives which were stopped by knock-ons, or poor passing from the base of rucks. Dan Massey went on an arcing run but delayed his pass to Nick Jerman and the hosts intercepted, and scored another unconverted try in the corner.
Sandbach seconds won 50-7 over West Park, the thirds beat Moore 41-27, and the fourths had to concede their game to Northwich because they could not raise a team.