Chester RUFC had to settle for a losing bonus point as 2015 ended with a 20-13 defeat at Wirral neighbours Caldy in a full-blooded battle.
The men from Hare Lane held a 13-6 lead at the end of the first-half but two moments of magic in the third quarter gave the hosts the edge in a game played in atrocious conditions.
Chester can feel hard done to not to at least take a draw and the result means it is now five defeats in six games, which has seen them drop to ninth in the National League Two North table.
Despite the heavy rain and swirling wind, both sets of players deserve credit for putting on an enthralling spectacle.
Chester opened up a 6-0 lead inside 25 minutes with two penalties from the boot of Callum Bennett and, with Guy Ford and Gavin Wood leading from the front, had the upper hand for much of the first-half.
The home side eventually gained some ground to hit back with a brace of penalties from Gavin Roberts to draw level, but the visitors reclaimed the advantage in added time at the end of the first period with a well worked converted score from Craig Ross and Bennett's expert conversion putting them 13-6 ahead.
Caldy levelled matters three minutes into the second-half when Roberts sliced through the defence and broke a tackle to touch down before converting from out wide.
And on 55 minutes the hosts took the lead for the first time when Nick Royle collected a deft Jack Lavin kick to go over near the right corner. The closing stages became a real dog fight as conditions deteriorated and the visitors were unable to claw themselves back into the game.
Next up for Chester is a home game with Broadstreet on January 2 (2.15pm).
Swans maintain title charge with another home win
Christleton kept up the pressure on Division Two South leaders Whitchurch 2nds with a convincing 38-8 win at home to Liverpool St Helens 2nds.
The Swans have not lost at home since April 2014 and never looked in danger of doing so against the Merseyside visitors.
Ellesmere Port and Helsby were not in action last weekend.