RUGBY UNION: Bury and Northwich, two sides with a point to prove, battled out an entertaining 22-22 draw on Saturday.
Northwich fielded a development side to run their eye over their young talent while Bury, from a division lower, were keen to show they can compete at a higher level.
The visitors took a grip and dominated proceedings early on.
The first points came after 20 minutes when a break in midfield by Graham Robinson opened up the Bury defence and, following good work from forwards and backs, Mike Lowe finished off with a try converted by Chris Dale.
Northwich then allowed the Bury fly-half to keep his forwards deep in his opponent's territory and, after sustained pressure, Bury scored an unconverted try.
Northwich replied almost immediately with Chris James forcing himself over from close range after a quick penalty near the Bury line.
But as Northwich tried to force the game they made a series of unforced errors and Bury pounced. Moving the ball quickly they scored a try on the stroke of half time.
Straight after the resumption Northwich scored the best try of the match when Robinson gathered the ball deep in his own half.
Following a strong run with good support the ball was moved quickly through the backs and a smart pass from Andy Joseph released Dale who ran 60 metres before being tackled. But he found John Brotherton in support and he finished off a great move.
Once again Northwich tried to force the game but this seemed to play into the hands of Bury whose full back scored under the posts before coverting to level the game.
Northwich introduced some fresh legs and this had the desired effect.
Following sustained pressure, Mark Johnson scored a good try close to the touchline which went unconverted.
Despite the excellent tackling of man-of-the-match Chris Heywood, Northwich could not prevent Bury scoring in the corner and it was only the crossbar keeping the conversion attempt out that ensured a draw.
Junior scores: U15s beat Birkenhead Park 58-31 (Ricahrd Dale 3, Sam Crawford 2, Jordon Lydiate 2, Sam McCormick, Jason Carter, Kenny Peters; Dale 4 cons); U11s beat Wirral 21-14 (Sam Jones 2, Sam Hunt tries; Hunt 2, Archie Love cons).
n Mike Bebbington is stepping down as Winnington Park manager.
The veteran of Winnington's biggest ever game, against Wasps 10 years ago, has organised the 1st XV for three years but finds he can no longer offer the same commitment.
He said: 'I just have not got the time to do the job properly, but I am not backing away from the club totally and shall remain involved.'
Winnington had no game at the weekend and are not occupied at 1st XV level until Blackburn come to Burrows Hill on April 2.
Meanwhile, Park 2nds won 50-5 at Ormskirk with try scorers Mike Gallimore (4) and John Pickering (2) showing the way. The 2nds now need to win two of their remaining three games to avoid relegation from the North West Second Division.