NORTHWICH clawed their way off the bottom of the South Lancs and Cheshire First Division on Saturday.
They registered their first win since the opening day with a gritty performance, but their triumph may have been at the cost of import Kolo Fifita, who left the field with a twisted knee and is a doubt for next week's trip to Leigh. He and fellow Aussie Nick Black (neck) both need treatment.
The first half was nip and tuck and the muddy conditions saw a catalogue of errors from both teams. However, Chris Dale was on form with his boot and his two penalties were the difference between the sides at half-time.
The second half witnessed both teams giving as good as they got and Wigan came back into the game through a try from Scott Buckley - and it was fortunate that the Wigan kicker had a poor day.
Northwich played intelligently and it was a forwards' rush and maul that enabled Chris James to score his second try in as many games. Dale failed with his conversion but the whole team kept their heads and ground out the rest of the match.
The result left Northwich perplexed. Wigan recently beat Sand-bach who walloped Northwich 50-0.
Prenton 32 Northwich 12: On Sunday, Northwich sent a team containing only four 1st XV players to Prenton, two divisions lower, in the Cheshire Cup.
The Northwich points came from a try and conversion from Chris Dale and a late try from John Brotherton.
Northwich 2nds had an excellent 14-0 win against Crewe & Nantwich at Moss Farm. Rob Birtles and Adam Brown scored tries and man-of-the-match Brown kicked both conversions. The 3rds lost at Buxton 32-12 (Joe Carroll, Ian Dale tries; Pete Davies con).
Saturday: 1st away v Leigh, 2nds away v Trafford, 3rds away v Congleton. Nieve Jones scored a hat-trick in Northwich U14s Girls' 39-5 triumph over Buxton. The girls host Oswestry on Sunday.
Northwich Junior Colts beat Little-borough 36-5 (Ben Walton, Drew Walker 2, Robert Stagg, Henry Chambers, Andy Oultram tries; Mike Bradley 3 cons); U13s beat Whitchurch 22-19 (James Turrell 3, James Underhill tries; William Woodhead con).
Winnington Park had no game but host Fleetwood on Saturday (2.30pm).