Chester 17 Altrincham Kersal 5
CHESTER started the new year with a victory but their performance – against the league’s basement side – did little to light up an overcast afternoon at Hare Lane.
After a promising start, the game all-too-quickly developed into a dour battle that silenced a large, not to mention cold, crowd.
The hosts got off to a flying start.
Flanker Aled Zachery, returning to the squad for the first time since he got married, picked the ball up from a ruck two yards out and drove over the line. Lloyd Hayes added the conversion for a 7-0 lead.
Chester played with the strong wind in their favour during the first half and it helped them lay siege to the Altrincham line. Their spell of pressure lasted for almost 30 minutes but they only managed to extend their lead by one try as the half drew to a close.
A set of phases stretched the away defence and when Sean Green popped up in the back line Hayes overlapped and scored, although he failed with his conversion attempt.
After the turnaround, Altrincham made full use of the conditions – kicking for the corner at every opportunity.
Their persistence paid off 10 minutes in when they crashed over to score in the corner, making it 12-5.
The game then turned into a midfield slog, with neither side making any positive inroads for long periods.
Fly-half Liam McGovern controlled events for Chester but the man who had the final say was man of the match Pete Rees. Having made ground every time he had the ball, he was finally put into space and sneaked in at the corner. Hayes’ conversion attempt hit the post.
Chester, who are second in National League Three North, are away to struggling Beverley on Saturday.
Chester 2nds lost 32-12 at Macclesfield 2nds.