Aspatria’s 41-5 win over fellow North Two West strugglers, Eccles, provided welcome respite in the battle to avoid relegation.

The five points were sufficient to move the Black Reds up to 10th in the table but they are still far from safety in a very tight league.

Aspatria could not have got off to a better start with a score in the first minute.

From the kick-off they immediately robbed Eccles of the ball and a snappy run by prop Jack Gaskell gained valuable yards.

Then stand-off Josh Watson stood up the waiting defensive line with a sublime dummy on his way through for the try which Jack Clegg converted.

The response from Eccles came straight from the restart and for near enough the next 15 minutes Aspatria could not escape the onslaught.

It took a superb defensive effort to keep the visitors off the scoreboard.

Aspatria finally broke free and with what was only their second meaningful attack of the day registered a second try.

Winger Alex Barton dashed out of defence and his foray up the right flank resulted in good field position which was used to great effect by forwards Matthew Atkinson and Gary Hodgson to run the ball into the 22. At this point, the back division took over and at the end of the line was full-back Joe Beaty who glided past the last defender to dot down.

The 14-0 score line did not deflate Eccles and from more pressure they should have scored but mishandled almost on the line.

With the first half moving into the final minutes the home side sensibly used Clegg’s boot and two quickly conceded penalties to increase the gap to 20-0 at the break. Aspatria’s decision to capitalise on penalties was proved to be the correct one as Eccles came back into contention with an early try through a controlled forward effort.

Only minutes later, Aspatria exploited some poor marking at a ruck to notch a third try. There seemed little danger to Eccles with the ball being contested around the 22.

The ball came Aspatria’s way and flanker Mark Beverley picked up the ball and galloped unchallenged to the line for a try which Clegg converted.

On 57 minutes the fourth and bonus point try was scored. Centre Chris Graham’s run down the middle turned the defence and he was able to get the ball away to hooker Adam Cavanagh who raced the final 25 metres under the posts and Clegg converted.

Aspatria’s fifth of the day was a great reward for the hardworking efforts of Gaskell.

With five minutes left the young prop simply out-muscled the Eccles defenders. He still had a distance to travel when he took possession of the ball but simply refused to be dragged down.

Several defenders hung on to him and did eventually weigh him down close to the line where he stretched out an arm to place the ball down.

Clegg converted.