SQUASH: CHESTER RUFC came out on top in a 3-2 thriller at home to Rochdale thanks to a decisive win from Rob Wilkins.
In the top string, Chester's Jethro Binns started brightly against the Irish champion, Ryan, and rattled off the first two games to take an early lead, but Ryan has not been a top-10 player in the world for nothing and he quickly levelled.
The final game was a much closer affair, but Ryan was the stronger, to clinch the match 3-2 and put Rochdale one up.
In the meantime, Jonathan Davies was in fine form against Rochdale's Paul Bolton. He gave his opponent little opportunity and clinched a convincing 3-0 victory to level the match.
Chester anticipated edging ahead when Nick Gatward took to the court with Rochdale's Steve Cummins, but the supporters were stunned as Gatward was extremely slow to get going and found himself 2-0 down.
Normal service resumed as he levelled, but the comeback took its toll and he had nothing left in the fifth, as Cummins took the game to put Rochdale 2-1 up.
Fortunately, Chester's captain, Jonathan Clark, made short work of Rochdale's club professional Chris Morrison and looked in confident form for next week's British Championships.
That left the match poised at 2-2 with young Wilkins playing Rochdale's Gareth Evans. In a match of fluctuating fortunes, first Wilkins looked in control going 2-1 up before throwing away the fourth and then Evans took a big lead in the fifth, but Wilkins fought back and in a marathon match, edged the final game 9-6 to clinch the game and the match for Chester in an extremely late finish.
There are no matches next week due to the British Championships.
The Dragons edged their game with Widnes seconds 3-2, thanks to Richie Hogben, Phil Noble and Giles Cook, but the seconds crashed 5-0 at home to Chester RUFC. The thirds white-washed New Brighton seventh team with wins by John Partridge, Andy Baird, Mark Bryant, Steve McMahon and Ian Kerrod.