THEY may have had a long break from fixtures, but it never showed in Knutsford Rugby Club’s performance on Saturday.

In what was their first match in four weeks, Blues picked up a valuable 26-14 win at Wirral thirds as they shone in both attack and defence.

With a home game against Leek seconds – the team directly behind them in North West Intermediate League Division Three South – next up on Saturday, they will hope to consolidate fifth place while looking firmly upwards.

Playing down a slope and with the wind at their backs, Knutsford were hopeful of a fast start but found a home side that was in little mood to be walked over.

A converted try put them into the lead, but the visitors dusted themselves down and made sure it was just a temporary setback.

Having picked the ball up from the back of a maul, Stefano Spinola took on three defenders to gallop between the posts for a converted score as Jim Southall added the extras.

Both teams continued to attack well and defend even better, but it was the hosts who struck next on the breakaway.

With options limited, Wirral kicked through the middle but Knutsford were unable to gather, allowing the onrushing home attack taking full advantage to touch down and convert.

However, after Giles Robertson and Kyle Blake had got them close, Jim Southall barged over for the visitors and converted the score himself to bring them level at 14-14 at the break.

With the wind picking up, Knutsford kept things tight and relied on their forwards to make ground after the break with Joaquim Lorenco Marques marshalling them expertly.

After a nip-and-tuck 15 minutes, Clifford Alvarez made a decisive break and offloaded to Southall, who rounded the Wirral full-back to score from 20 yards and once again add the extras.

With a lead to protect, Knutsford continued to defend solidly as they dealt with everything the home attack threw at them.

With five minutes left, the coup de grâce came.

Another rolling attack from the Knutsford forwards got them within 10 yards of the Wirral line and from there, Alvarez broke through again but this time finished himself to secure the victory even though Southall was off target with the conversion.

The final two minutes were spent defending as Wirral continue to push, but as they had done throughout the second half, Blues muscled up and repelled everything that came their way.