Feb 23 2012 Chester Chronicle
Chester 27 Sandal 13
CHESTER returned to action following a two-week break with a hard-fought victory over their Yorkshire rivals.
With the two teams looking to play positive rugby despite the wet and windy conditions, supporters from both sides were richly entertained.
Chester skipper Andy Moore won the toss and chose to play into the wind in the first half.
But Sandal put the promotion-chasing visitors under immediate pressure and stole into a 6-0 lead thanks to two penalties.
Despite losing talisman Liam McGovern to a hamstring injury, Chester refused to buckle and they went into the half-time break 7-6 up after Lloyd Hayes scored under the posts and kicked the conversion himself.
A Hayes penalty extended Chester’s lead in the second half and the away side’s commitment to playing adventurous rugby paid off when Pat Coy found himself in space and ghosted under the posts.
Hayes converted to open up a 17-6 lead.
Straight from the kick-off Chester continued in the same vein and some great passing saw the ball moved wide to the ever-willing Pete Rees, who was given half a yard and made no mistake in scoring in the corner.
Sandal, however, refused to lie down and a fine break by their fly-half resulted in a converted try, narrowing the gap by nine points at 22-13.
A few minutes later, Sandal missed a penalty which would have brought them even closer to Chester.
As it was, the visitors had the final say late on with another try by Rees. Hayes hit a post with his conversion attempt but the points were already safe.
Chester, who are now back up to second in National League Three North, are away to mid-table West Hartlepool this Saturday.