Head coach Dave Craven sees reasons to be cheerful despite Chester RUFC ending 2014 with a 30-18 derby defeat at home to rivals Caldy.

It was a result which means the Hare Lane club have now lost four from six, causing them drop to fifth in the National League Two North table.

Craven’s side led 11-8 at half time but Caldy and head coach Simon Verbickas headed back to the Wirral with a deserved bonus point win thanks to a powerful second half performance.

Craven said: “It was massively disappointing and it’s probably the low point of the season so far.

“We looked like we could go on at one point and get back in the game but it didn’t quite happen and to be fair to Caldy they took their opportunities.

“We couldn’t quite get things together and we made about 12 unforced errors with a lot of mistakes and it was disappointing.”

Caldy took the lead on seven minutes after a lineout saw number eight Craig Smithson release Neil Dowridge and the hooker made a run for the line.

Chester came back into the game and winger Pete Rees crossed to level the scores and two penalties for the hosts and one for the Wirral side meant the score was 11-8 at the break

Caldy had a strong wind behind them in the second period and some excellent work with the boot from fullback Andrew Soutar had Chester pinned back for much of the half.

Gavin Roberts drew the visitors level with a penalty and the pressure soon told with three tries in quick succession.

Wingers Ben Evans and Nick Royle crossed in the corners and a sublime move between Soutar and Dom Kohler resulted in the latter going in under the posts to give Caldy a commanding 19 point lead.

Chester managed a late consolation to make the final score 30-18 and now have a break before the trip to Hull on January 3 (2pm).

Craven remains confident his team can rediscover the form that saw them win six in a row earlier in the season over the second half of the campaign.

He said: “We are going to train between Christmas and New Year to prepare and make sure we are ready for the game with Hull on January 3.

“It’s very tight at the moment in the table and you can quite easily start sliding down the league if you don’t pick up some wins.

“We are a good side but for whatever reason we’ve got a little bit off the boil at the moment.

“I’m not concerned and although the loss to Caldy was disappointing there are still a lot of positives for us to take into the rest of the season.”

Christleton slipped to a narrow 13-12 defeat at Firwood Waterloo in Division Three South but remained top of the table at Christmas on points difference.

Next up for the Swans is a home game with Sandbach on January 3 (2.15pm).