CHESTER lifted the Thwaites Cheshire Cupfor the first time at Caldy yesterday, but lower graded Wirral emerged with tremendous credit.

Wirral were recalled to the competition after their semi-final conquerors Macclesfield refused to turn out less than 24 hours after a scheduled National Three League match and the South Lancashire/Cheshire One outfit showed real determination and no mean ability.

But a golden spell in the third quarter saw Chester, from North One, home.

Chester were restricted to one first-half try, by Steve Johnson from a kick ahead by Murray King on 15 minutes but Wirral levelled with a super score on 35 minutes with Paul Dinwoodie speeding away for a try between the posts. Colin Davies hit a post with the conversion attempt.

Ian White landed a penalty for Wirral three minutes into the second half and it looked ominous for Chester who were facing the strengthening breeze.

But King levelled with a 49th minute penalty and then Chester raised their game.

Back-row star Gavin Woods touched down after a forward drive.

Replacement Ben Foden produced the moment of the match wrong-footing the defence for a solo try on the hour. King converted.

Wirral grabbed a lifeline on 65 minutes with the Dinwoodie going in at the corner from a scrum but the Clatterbridge outfit could not raise another real threat in the closing minutes.

Chester came close to adding to their lead when King hit a post with a penalty, but they were still happy to hear the final whistle from Dave Edmunds who officiated well throughout.