OVER a weekend that saw the country battered by the storm of the century, Knutsford RUFC whipped up a storm of their own as they completed a league double over Whitchurch 49-24.

The victory takes them to fifth in Sale Sharks Division Three South going into the final third of the 2019/20 season.

The score flattered Knutsford's first-half performance though, with the home side struggling to get into their patterns as the industrious and effective Whitchurch pack retained their ball far better and played a game close to the ruck which sucked in Knutsford's defence.

They were then effective at releasing the backs and their direct runners caused trouble all afternoon.

Jack Field had a good game in the lineout, winning most of his own ball with accurate throwing from hooker Stefano Spinola and also stealing some of the opposition's after clearly working on his timing in the air in training.

Knutsford scored first.

Relentless phases saw strong ball retention and the ball was spun out by Kyle Blake after Joaquim Marques was tied up at the base of a ruck.

Blake found Cook, who hit it wide to Jim Southall for him to barge over from within the 22 before adding the first of his five conversions.

Whitchurch fought back and went ahead after two quick tries were scored via lapses in the Knutsford defence and too many metres given away from penalties for offside and hands in the rucks.

Spinola was next to score for Knutsford, a long territory-gaining kick saw Field steal the lineout, Alex Hornby and Steve Barlow make good carries in the midfield and Marques marshalling the phases until he fed Spinola who was running from deep and went over for his fourth of the season.

Too many mistakes overall though saw player-coach Chris Edmonds and captain Sam Bensky cut frustrated figures in the half-time huddle but a few choice words focused on the job in hand saw a resoundingly different Knutsford come out to play into the wind in the second half.

As Whitchurch tired, gaps appeared, Josh Duckworth and Jim Southall made breaks and with some creative kicking from fly-half Cook Knutsford got up the field and started to play.

The Knutsford pack had the beating of the scrum all day long and Marques scored from a well-worked effort that squeezed the ball out for him to dot down from close range.

Two players scored their debut tries of the season and one player scored his debut try for Knutsford!

Giles Robertson picked up the ball in midfield from a quick ruck and made the break, sprinting over after fending off several tackle attempts.

Sammy Flannery, who only started playing rugby this season, had been showing huge improvement game by game and with his lightning pace is an important asset to the team.

This showed on Saturday when a line-out was won and ball came quick to the backs, then an elusive move that included Ian Morris and Jim Southall saw Cook receive the ball in space and find Flannery out wide and he went over in the corner.

Further tries followed from Edmonds after Cook found him again in the midfield, seemingly mirroring the same try he scored last game, and Howard Dunkerley, showing fantastic fitness as his supporting run towards the end of the game saw him on the shoulder of Marques when he made a break.

Man of the match Ian Morris, returning from injury in the past few weeks, put in some massive tackles that helped to ensure the win.

Blues travel to play the Village Spartans this Saturday.