VICTORY meant more to Northwich than Winnington in only the fifth competitive derby between the near neighbours at Moss Farm on Saturday.
They put in that much more passion and effort in a typically frantic cup encounter and it was their forwards who won the day against the much vaunted and previously unbeaten Winnington pack.
Park were without seven play-ers - given time off in the belief it was a fixture-free weekend - but only one was a forward and both sides would have closely fought the Powergen Intermediate Cup tie whatever the line-ups.
Indeed, Winnington could have won the 2nd round game with the last kick of the game, but Matt Dodds missed the penalty that would otherwise have been taken - and converted? - by Gary Bell or Ben Barton.
Hundreds of spectators witnessed a nail-bitingly close match that was littered with penalties.
Northwich's former England colt Chris Dale was their match-winner, scoring a try, conversion and penalty.
Paul McCafferty kicked Winnington ahead after 10 minutes when Northwich killed the ball.
Dale replied with a penalty five minutes later when Winnington were caught handling in the loose and it remained level until the 25th minute when Park over-turned a Northwich scrum and second row forward Ian Moriarty burst over the Northwich line.
McCafferty missed the simple conversion and just before half time Chris Dale could have reduced the arrears but fluffed an easy penalty attempt.
Northwich made a storming start to the second half and they went ahead when stalwart Bryan Johnson broke through the Winnington defence to set up the supporting Dale and he converted his try.
The remainder of the game was attack and counter and both teams came close to scoring.
Carl Patterson and Will Burgess had several charging runs but the passion and brutality of the Northwich defence held firm. Steve Campbell and Chris Dale were magnificent in the North-wich defence and also launched some exciting attacks, though New Zealand wing forward Jamie Maritana was the man of the match.
Northwich moved into a 3-2 lead in derby victories when Dodd's penalty missed the mark and started party time for the underdogs.
Winnington, whose players were given an abrasive dressing down by coach Mark Warr at the finish, described their own performance as 'lacklustre'. Their changes meant a side not used to playing together, but with penalties and a conversion missed it was Bell they missed the most.
It was a memorable day all round for Northwich as their 2nds and 3rds both progressed in league knockouts, 28-8 against Macclesfield and 21-0 at home to Burnley respectively.
Northwich 1st XV are at Sand-bach on Saturday.
Bowdon 0 Winnington Park 16
WINNINGTON made Cheshire Cup progress in midweek.
Rain made playing conditions difficult but it was the visitors who made the fewer mistakes.
They underlined their dominance with tries from Matthew Dodds in the first half and Carl Patterson in the second, and two penalty kicks by Gary Bell.
Park 4ths were beaten 13-7 at home by Garstang on Saturday with Mal Ecka scoring the try, converted by Ben Elliot.
Two penalties by Andrew Hept-install failed to cheer Park Senior Colts who went down 50-6 at home to West Park on Sunday.