Crewe & Nantwich RUFC player Dave Germain, captain against Leek

Crewe & Nantwich RUFC earned a massive 28-27 victory over Leek to move clear of the drop zone and relegate their opponents.

Leek needed to win to drag their hosts back into a Midlands West 1 relegation dogfight with three games left.

But an injury-hit Vagrants team battled to a dramatic victory which almost secures their league place for next season.

Crewe had to ring the changes, bringing back Martin Davies to second row, Dave Germain (pictured) as captain in absence of Toby Ward, Kieran Allsop and Jim Creighton coming in, Mike Greatbanks and Toby Russell-Vick in the centre with Charlie Hutchings on the wing.

The hosts Crewe conceded too many penalties early on and Leek finally converted one to take an early lead.

Crewe fly-half Jim Creighton levelled with his own kick and then a successful catch and drive saw the Crewe pack shove Leek over the line for flanker Josh Collins to score a try, which was not converted.

Creighton kicked a long range penalty to push the score further ahead.

Leek’s second row then collected the ball and rampaged through weak tackles to score a converted try under the posts.

A Crewe penalty was added, making the score at half time 14-10 to Crewe.

A quick tap penalty by hooker Eli Woodward, resulted in good ground gained at the restart.

The ball was moved to wing Tim Cowap, who powered forward and with a neat offload to centre Toby Russell-Vick, who evaded the final defender to score near the posts, converted by Creighton.

Leek applied pressure in the Crewe 22 and after the hosts were penalised, so the visitors scored a converted try from a quick tap penalty to bring the score to 21-17.

Leek then kicked another penalty from in front of the posts after an offside offence.

With 10 minutes left, from a ruck near the Leek 22, the ball was fed to Pat Fray, who made a significant impact from the bench.

Fray broke the first tackle, set up a ruck and quick ball which was moved to Russell-Vick who scored his second try to the right of the posts converted by Creighton.

Trailing 28-20, Leek threw caution to the wind and manufactured a converted try through many phases, scoring a try through their centre.

But that was the last play of the game which saw Leek relegated.

Crewe director of rugby Andy Brown said: “We scored three great tries but still produce individual moments of madness in our own third of the pitch which cause unnecessary errors and inevitably lead to opposition tries.

“Once we have conquered these eccentricities and reduce the penalty count, we will become a formidable team.”

Man of the match was Kieran Allsop.

Crewe & Nantwich have three remaining League games against Sillhillians away on April 2, Stoke at home on April 9, and Stratford away on April 16.

This is followed by the Cheshire Vase Final on Tuesday April 26 against National 3 opposition, Birkenhead Park, at Sandbach RFC 7.45pm kick off.

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