Knutsford 36-12 Newcastle 2nd

IF this was one of Knutsford’s sternest examinations of the season, as skipper Sam Bensky had warned, then they will be encouraged to have passed.

Their promotion rivals were expected to win elsewhere, and so Blues had to.

They recovered from a slow start to score first when Alex Malcolm added a final flourish to a blind-side move.

Ciaran Grieves converted.

Knutsford presented their guests with an opportunity to respond when they conceded a string of penalties in quick succession, and they duly restored parity with a converted score.

Liam Boyle was then shown a yellow card, although Blues steadied themselves to dot down twice more before the break.

A forward charge from hooker Stefano Spinola accounted for one of those.

When Dave Gol capitalised on a handling error to add his name to a list of scorers early in the second half, they led 26-7.

Knutsford resisted pressure from their opponents when they attempted to rally, and added to their advantage when Malcolm collected fly-half John Galliano’s cross-field kick.

Gol spent a spell in the sin bin after infringing close to his own line, and Newcastle reduced their arrears shortly afterwards.

However the hosts completed the scoring late on.

They stay third in North West Intermediate League Division Four South, seven points adrift of Lymm fourths ahead of them.

Blues have a game in hand.

A trip to Marple seconds awaits on Saturday, kick-off 2.15pm.