CHESHIRE showed improved form to narrowly defeat Northumberland at Paton Field, Caldy, in their second match in the RU County Championship Northern Group last Saturday.

There was never much between the sides.

Northumberland led 17-15 at the half way stage but Cheshire just managed to turn matters round in the second period to triumph 35-31 and hopefully ease relegation fears.

They are due to round off their campaign against Lancashire at Sedgley Park this Saturday and will step out very much the underdogs.

Lancashire accounted for Yorkshire 29-23 in their second match and need to beat Cheshire to ensure an outing at Twickenham against the Southern Group winners to decide the Bill Beaumont Trophy.

If Cheshire lose and Northumberland who picked up two bonus point at Caldy win against Yorkshire then Cheshire will go down to Division Two.

Cheshire scored four tries at Paton Field via Guy Ford (2) and one apiece from Caldy players Craig Ross and Sean Mackin.

Caldy's Richard Vasey added three of the conversions and also struck a trio of penalties.

The losers scored five tries in all plus three kicks. Caldy stage their annual Sevens this Saturday.

Eight top teams will compete for the Okell Shield whilst another eight contest the Caldy Plate. Play starts at noon.

On Saturday, Caldy face the Royal Marines in a full fifteen a side match with a 3pm kick-off.

The game forms part of the Marines' 350th anniversary.

The last event before the summer break comes on Saturday May 31, when New Brighton stage a Testimonial match for Kati Tuipulotu.

A Kati Invitation XV will take on a Tongan International XV with a 3pm start at Hartsfield for what should be a gala occasion.

Kati has given ten years excellent service to the New Brighton cause. There will be a formal dinner for the player in September.