AFTER starting the season so emphatically, Knutsford were dealt a stern reality check with an 85-0 defeat in their first away fixture in the new league.

Although the start to the season has earned some big victories it came with five key injuries.

This, coupled with some late cry offs, meant only 16 players made the journey to Anselmians after the three Grieves brothers were drafted in as replacements.

Problems started early for the men in blue. In the warm-up returning prop Dan Jones collected a calf injury, Tommy Irvine stepping forward in his place.

On a wide pitch similar to Knutsford’s it was expected to suit both teams’ style of play however it was Anslemians who took the early dominance.

Through some well-worked phase play coupled with some sparse defending the Wirral side ran in three early scores.

Knutsford’s pack showed dominance in the set piece and the backs secured their defence to slow the home side’s points tally. Giles Robertson and Ted Cawson produced some strong tackling to keep the opposition at bay.

After the break Anselmians continued in the ascendancy. Although the Knutsford backs produced some telling bursts, the scoreboard remained static for the travelling team.

As the game played out the Knutsford defence tired and left more holes for the tally against them to rise quickly.

There is much to work on and it will put aside any complacency the Knutsford men had about the challenges of their new league.

Saturday’s home fixture against Lymm will provide a chance to put their campaign back on track.