Chester 29 Lymm 17
CHESTER are five points off the top of National League Three North after a convincing win over their Cheshire rivals.
The hosts’ line-up had a vastly different look from previous weeks and several members of the side were asked to play out of position, but Chester rose to the occasion against their fellow promotion-chasers.
Coach Dave Craven said: “We were up against it after losing five players – mostly to injuries – in the last week or two, so it was a big win. We’ve lost a couple of games we shouldn’t have lost, so it’s good to get back on track.
“I think it’s been a learning curve for us, and it’s probably done us some good.
“If we play to the best our ability there’s no reason why we can’t win the league.”
The home side were the stronger from the outset, scrummaging ferociously and attacking with verve.
After both sides missed early penalties in difficult kicking conditions, Liam McGovern found his range, slotting over from the halfway line after 10 minutes.
Winger Tom Evans increased Chester’s lead after a strong break by captain Ross White and stand-in centre Barry Holmes, with McGovern converting.
Scrum half Josh Leach added a second try – again converted by McGovern – before Lymm clawed their way back into the game after a defensive mistake to make the score 17-7.
Chester went in search of another score before half time, and they were rewarded when Pete Rees, filling in at full back, broke free and fed winger Noam Devey, who scored in the corner to give Chester a commanding 15-point lead at the break.
Lymm started the second period strongly to force their hosts back.
The gap was reduced to five points after the visitors scored two unconverted tries, but solid and spirited defending led by White, Will Bown and man-of-the-match Lewis Griffith stemmed the flow.
As the tide turned back in the home side’s favour, a fine break by the returning Tom Blackwell found White in support. The skipper carried the ball into the heart of the Lymm 22 and, under pressure, the visitors knocked on.
From the resulting scrum, Bown touched down and McGovern added the conversion once more.
Chester host Bradford & Bingley on Saturday (2.15pm).