NORTHWICH lost for the fifth time in a row on Saturday, but three newcomers point the way to recovery.
Overall, their performance was more encouraging and director of rugby Chris Wood believes when the new men are established, Northwich will start climbing the South Lancs and Cheshire table once more.
Stand-off Ian Bartlett, formerly with Winnington Park, South African winger Euege Westernaad and Zimbabwean centre Kevin Christie all made their debuts.
Widnes led at half-time through a converted try snatched just before the break, and it was enough to sting Northwich into action after the resumption.
They took the game to Widnes, competing well against their huge set of forwards, and they scored when Mike Gallimore crossed the line and John Brotherton actually applied the finish touch.
But Widnes scored twice more, on both occasions taking a Northwich clearance and driving the ball back.
Also v Widnes: 2nds won 20-0 (Daniel Davey, Peter James, Carl Senior tries; Senior con, pen); 3rds lost 19-12 (Peter Davies, Ian Dale tries; Davies con).
Saturday v Warrington: 1st, 3rds away, 2nds home.
Juniors versus Crewe & Nantwich: U9s won 5-0, U8s won 9-7, U7s won 8-7; U10s won 13 tries to nil (Joe Maddocks 5, Sam Hunt 2, Sam Jones 2, Henry Bellis 2, Jordan Byrne 2); U11s won 21-17 (Nieve Jones, Melissa Beesley, Sam Gough tries; Kieran Berrington 3 cons) ; U12s won 28-19 (Robin Houghton, Ben Jones, Lauren Bickerton, James Underhill tries; Houghton 2, Underhill 2 cons).