THE past few weeks have been stop-start for Knutsford Rugby Club.

Saturday’s trip to Leek’s seconds was only their second game since mid-October, but they will hope it serves as a catalyst for them to push forward.

Their past two games have ended in narrow defeats, but a 20-15 on the home turf of a side flying high in North West Intermediate League Division Three South showed no lack of confidence or match sharpness.

Joachim Marques’ superb individual try with just five minutes remaining proved the difference as the visitors were rewarded for an excellent display.

Sandbach’s thirds are the visitors on Saturday for Blues’ first home game in six weeks – a further opportunity to grow belief and climb the table.

While they may sit eighth in the table, they now know they can mix it with the division’s high-flyers.

Knutsford Guardian:

Action from Saturday's win at Leek. Picture by Tony Evans

With the wind in their faces and the hosts attacking them down the sloped pitch, Blues had it all to do in the first half at Leek but were into their rhythm early.

The pack made yards and Knutsford went through the phases, leading to player-coach Chris Edmonds crossing for the game’s opening try.

Leek responded with a try of their own before Blues hit back with one of the tries of the season.

Strong scrummaging, deft handling and a smart chip saw Alex Malcolm catch with aplomb and offload for winger Josh Duckworth to dive over in the corner.

The hosts were in again before the break, with their one conversion giving them a two-point lead at the break but they now had to attack uphill.

Errors started to creep into Knutsford’s game after the restart, but they maintained the pressure and were rewarded with a penalty duly converted by Malcolm.

Leek converted a penalty of their own to retake the initiative before Blues’ mercurial scrum-half Marques had the final word.

After catching a 22 drop out from the hosts, he turned on the wheels and broke through five attempted tackles to score between the posts.

Malcolm added the extras and despite a nervy final five minutes, Knutsford’s discipline and defence held firm to secure a priceless victory.