A MUCH depleted Wilmslow Wolves side ultimately did well to come away from Northwich with a losing bonus point for scoring four tries in a 41-22 loss.

They weren’t far away from snatching a second bonus point in the final minutes with a fifth try but their handling and passing wasn’t sufficiently secure.

Despite the commitment of the Wilmslow players, the side were only a shadow of the team that was carrying all before it in November and December.

Back then, they were clinical in taking their chances and their defence was near water tight.

Against Northwich, there were nine enforced changes from the side that had turned out the week before against Stockport and another nine changes, not all the same, from the side that had played Waterloo last November.

Wolves failed far too often to protect hard earned possession against an efficient Northwich team, themselves not at full strength.

Northwich’s opening score came after only two minutes when they took a lineout and a couple of thrusts later crossed through flanker Chris Dale.

They then missed a simple looking penalty for goal and when they fouled up an attacking scrum soon after, a long kick out and chase by Wolves was the prelude to some crisp handling finished off by centre Kieran O’Rourke.

Northwich went 14-5 ahead on the half hour with their second try from a five metre scrum.

Within five minutes Wolves responded with their best play of the game.

A powerful drive from a lineout by prop Ollie Stockwin, carried on by Chris Jones led to an incisive run by Sam Cutts who released left winger Jamie Kingdon for the touchdown.

They then lost the ball at the restart and Northwich exposed the defence for a third try.

Immediately, Richard Dale broke the Wilmslow defence from the restart and raced away for Davidson to put winger Kyle Clarke over on the cusp of half time.

Wolves scrum half Andy Rimmer took advantage of a lapse in the Northwich defence to run away from halfway for the third try.

The home side added a penalty through Baldwin and then ran back a loose Wilmslow clearing kick for their fifth try.

Wilmslow finished with panache as number eight Jack Masters powered through to reduce the deficit.