A long-standing partnership between Chester Gladiators and Barletts Solicitors has been extended for another season.

Bartletts has sponsored the rugby league club since 2009 and the company hopes its continued investment in the club will inspire the team onto success in the North West Men’s League.

With two senior sides and a growing junior section, the club, which is based at The Cheshire County Sports Club in Upton, has been able to purchase a bespoke playing kit for the first team, who are coached by USA international Mark Offerdahl.

Gladiators chairman Jim Green said: "We are indebted to Bartletts Solicitors, who have proved yet again that they are a company focused on the local community.

"It’s this sort of support that will encourage the team to go out and show the competition what sporting talent we have in the area.

"The team has successfully established itself as a force to be reckoned with and we hope to build on that success year on year."

Bartletts, who have offices in Chester and Wrexham, has also helped the club fund the purchase of new equipment for its weekly junior coaching sessions.

Trevor Morris, of Bartletts Solicitors, said: "We are all big rugby league fans at the firm, so it made perfect sense to sponsor the Gladiators to give something back to the area.

"It’s great to see so many young people getting involved in both with the sport and the community. Of course, we’re also looking forward to seeing the Bartletts logo adorn the kit of this year’s winning team."

On Saturday, a last-minute try denied Chester a third successive away win as they were forced to settle for a 16-16 draw at Eccleston Lions.

Constant heavy rain made conditions extremely tough but both sides contributed to a captivating contest that went to the wire.

Gladiators welcomed back fullback Dave Beddows and hooker Dan Rowett, and gave centre Paddy McDonagh his debut at Bobbies Lane, St Helens.

After an arm wrestle in the opening 10 minutes, it was the hosts who struck first, scoring under the posts to take a 6-0 lead.

Chester saw plenty of ball but the Lions defence held firm until the 38th minute when McDonagh powered over to make the half time score 6-4.

Gladiators improved in the second half, penning the home side in and producing some fierce defence.

McDonagh crossed for his second and captain Mark Kingsley squeezed through a gap to put his side 16-6 up with 20 minutes to go.

Eccleston battled back and a clever kick and chase got them back within four points as the clock ticked down.

Chester kept the Lions out but the pressure told in the final minute when the ball was whipped left and the hosts went over in the corner but the conversion missed the mark leaving the scores tied.

Chester host Mancunians on Saturday (2.30pm) at The Cheshire County Sports Club in Upton.