kicker Jim Creighton - Ludlow

Crewe & Nantwich RUFC secured a vital win at Newcastle to move clear of the relegation zone in Midlands 2 West (North).

A fairly even start allowed fly-half Creighton (pictured) to exchange penalties with his opposite number 3-3.

But Crewe got the upper hand in the scrums giving the backs good ball and were soon putting their hosts onto the back foot.

Good ball from a line out, a series of drives from the forwards saw the ball popped to no.8 Gregg Saignes who crashed over for the opening try converted by Creighton 3-10, which remained the score until half time.

The second half started in the same vein with Crewe putting pressure on the Newcastle scrum.

From a scrum Creighton ran the ball wide for centre Gammage to take a great line to sprint over from 30 metres for a great try converted again by Creighton 3-17.

Newcastle raised their game but Crewe defended well and broke out.

A fine long pass from Creighton found wing Tim Cowap who powered over in the corner for an unconverted try 3-22.

Newcastle scored a late try through their scrum half but Crewe held out for a good win that takes them out of the relegation zone.

Crewe & Nantwich head coach John Farr said: “An improvement in focus was needed and the boys delivered.

“After a frenzied start from both teams we settled earlier and took control of the game in difficult circumstances.

“The pack asserting their dominance, especially at scrum time.

“The game started to turn after Greg Saignes scored a blockbuster after quick thinking from man of the match Josh Howard.

“We were much better defensively; communicated, stayed connected and were physical.

“Joe Gammage was exceptional again and scored a great try at a crucial time.

“Tim Cowap put the game to bed following some tremendous play and a worldy of a pass from Jim Creighton.

“I have said all along that we’re a good team lacking a little belief. Wins like this hopefully remind the boys of their potential ”

Crewe and Nantwich Ladies suffered their first home defeat of the season in Championship North 2 in a game very much of two halves.

Crewe came out of the blocks hard and dominated early possession.

A number of forward phases led by captain Mollie Latham resulted in a well worked try out wide by winger Mich Belle.

Soon after Latham hobbled off with a knee injury, but Crewe continued with their early momentum and Belle secured her secpond try of the game.

However, Manchester’s continued pressure at the breakdown eventually led to them breaking down Crewe’s defence, taking the score to 10-5 at half time.

The second half saw Manchester continue to dominate the breakdown which eventually led to a further converted try.

A superb kick from fly half Christine Lawson saw Crewe back on Manchester’s line, but despite continued pressure they didn’t gain any further points.

And in the last five minutes Manchester made a break in the middle of the park which saw them home and dry with a 10-17 victory over the hosts.

Crewe will be looking to get back to winning ways this Sunday as they face Kenilworth at home in the 2nd round of the Intermediate Plate.

Mollie Latham said: “It was a tough day at the office, but it’s games like these that keep us grounded as a side – we know what we need to work on and we aim to put that right this weekend!

“We are very fortunate to have fantastic strength and depth within our squad and despite the result on Sunday I am extremely proud of how the team stepped up against challenging opposition in challenging circumstances.”

Meanwhile, Crewe & Nantwich Colts narrowly lost to Newcastle 24-19.

(Pic below by Sue Rideout – James Doano for the Colts)

The ball carrier in the Colts pic is James Doano

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