relegation battle - Toby Ward, Crewe & Nantwich RUFC, versus Leek

Crewe & Nantwich RUFC clinched their place in the Cheshire Vase Final after a thrilling win over Northwich.

Andy Brown’s side triumphed 22-15 over their local rivals at the Vagrants in Willaston in a keenly contested match.

Northwich had enjoyed four straight wins and with their overseas contingent at prop and openside flanker, they had a strong pack and lively backs on show.

Crewe started strongly and after 10 minutes, a powerful scrummage from Crewe led to Northwich conceding a penalty which was converted by full-back Toby Ward.

Crewe’s first try came from a break by centre Joe Gammage after slick hands from the backs, and Northwich infringed at the ruck.

The penalty was kicked into the corner and Crewe caught and drove from the lineout to score a well worked try, prop Ian Merrill diving over with his first of the season.

Soon after a break from a scrum by No 8 Kirk Robinson allowed the ball to be moved swiftly to the right wing and then played back at pace for full-back Ward to score in the left hand corner. Ward converted his own try.

After the break, Crewe continued to dominate.

From a turnover at a Northwich lineout in their 22, and following a series of pick and drives, prop forward James Guy crashed over for his first try of the season.

Ward converted once again to give Crewe what seemed like an unassailable 22-0 lead.

The hosts made a few changes and combined with a yellow card for flanker, Oli Buckley, Crewe lost some structure and allowed Northwich back in to the match.

Northwich ran in three late tries but were unable to convert so Crewe were able to hold on comfortably for the victory.

Crewe travel to unbeaten league leaders Newport (National 3 last season) this Saturday November 15. So, we will be endeavouring to win this very challenging game – but Whitchurch have shown us the way!

Head of Rugby Andy Brown said: “The win is very achievable, if we play to our best and we would welcome your support at Newport.”

Kick off is 2.15pm.

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