Penrith Rugby Club inched slightly closer to safety as they drew 27-27 with fourth-placed Northwich at home.

That means, with a win and two draws in their last three games, and a four-try bonus-point in each game, they have taken 11 points from a possible 15.

Their fate is in their own hands as they travel to Burnage this Saturday, who currently occupy the last relegation place, and a win would almost certainly guarantee them their current status.

Northwich had a large pack and always looked dangerous when in possession of the ball on Saturday, especially wide out.

Saying that, the home side couldn’t have had a better start after a penalty was kicked deep into the 22 and Dan Richardson won the line-out ball.

The Penrith pack was only thwarted in their drive for the line by foul play. The resultant penalty was kicked to within five metres of the line where Richardson again secured the ball and, this time, the forward drive could not be stopped. Tom Lindsay was at the back of the maul to claim the try which Nathan Wooff converted.

Northwich were too good a side to be dominated for any length of time, though, and were soon on the scoreboard themselves.

A period of decent Penrith possession was halted when the ball carrier was isolated and penalised for hanging on to the ball. The long-range kick at goal was accurate and Northwich were off the mark.

The visitors were then awarded a penalty in an eminently kickable position and, surprisingly after the first successful attempt, chose to kick to the corner.

It proved to be the correct decision as they scored a converted try from the line-out in the corner.

The Penrith forwards did have the upper hand in the set scrums throughout the game but not always to the liking of the referee.

At a scrum just in the Northwich half, they were penalised before the front rows even went down and the tap was quickly taken and whipped wide to the left. The pace and power of the visitors’ backs saw them score wide out. Another excellent conversion pulled their lead out to 10 points.

The home side were next to score and it was from a scrum on the visitors’ 22.

Penrith won the ball and James Boustead ran it up hard before the forwards picked and drove to win a few more yards. Then, George Graham spotted the opportunity and broke through to score with Wooff converting so the gap was down to three.

Having got themselves back into the game, Penrith conceded another converted try on half-time.

Penalties were costing them as another was kicked to the corner and the strong-running Northwich full-back was eventually set-up to score after breaking through midfield.

The gap was again 10 points as Penrith trailed 24-14 at the break but they did have what little breeze there was at their backs in the second half.

Early in the second period, Penrith coach David Preston attempted to change the game.

He had a strong bench of forwards and, with just over half-an-hour to go, Scott Lancaster, Josh Dowson and Lee Chapman all entered the fray to bolster the home effort up front and it seemed to work.

For a while, they were their own worst enemies, setting up good attacking positions only to concede penalties to relieve the pressure for the visitors. But, eventually, the tide turned and Northwich hands in the ruck enabled Wooff to knock over the penalty to reduce the lead.

The visitors weren’t long in pulling the lead back out to 10 points when awarded a penalty for a high tackle on the 22 and a simple kick went over.

There was very little between the sides and Penrith were right back in it as they kicked a penalty to the corner.

Mike Raine took the ball at the front of the line and the Penrith pack applied the drive to force their way over the line for Chapman to ground the ball for the try. The conversion was wide but the gap was down to five.

Penrith did draw level after kicking another penalty to the corner and Richardson was found in the middle of the line to be driven over the line as the visiting forwards were humped back once more.

The conversion slid wide with minutes to go, yet Penrith had good field position to claim the win before the final whistle only for penalties to cost them their chance.