John Aby couldn’t hide his disappointment after seeing his Chester side fall to their first defeat of the season on Saturday.
Head coach Aby’s men were on the receiving end of a 33-18 home reverse to South Leicester after putting in a below-par performance.
And having seen his Hare Lane side win their opening two National Two North encounters, Chester failed to recover from a bad start.
Aby said: “We are disappointed with the result and the performance which was well below the standard we set, the better team won today, but we are looking forward to next week.”
South Leicester hit the front in the first minute through Will Cave, with Rickie Aley missing the extras.
Chester’s Rhys Hayes did respond for the hosts with an 11th-minute penalty, but the visitors hit back three minutes later with a penalty of their own, converted by Aley.
But South Leicester put themselves firmly in the driving seat with a rampant spell that began with Chris Bale crossing on 20 minutes, Aley converting.
Three minutes later, they extended their advantage when Will Sutton crossed the whitewash and Aley did the rest once more.
A Cave penalty on the half-hour mark saw the Leicestershire visitors increase their dominance and an unconverted Calum Gunn try a minute later left Aby’s men reeling.
John Preston did cross five minutes before the break to give the hosts some hope but they were left with a mountain to climb.
Despite Aley converting a penalty immediately after the break, Chester did improve in the second period and unconverted scores from John Ketland and Thomas Gregory restored a measure of pride for Aby’s charges.
Chester travel to Tynedale this Saturday.
Oilers bag bonus win
Ellesmere Port registered their second Merseyside West win of the season in fine style on Saturday, claiming a 48-14 bonus point win against Birchfield at Dunkirk Lane.
The Oilers got off to a flyer and scored a penalty in the second minute through scrum-half Chris Carbutt.
Their lead was stretched to 10-0 with a try from James Callaghan, converted by Carbutt before Birchfield were awarded a controversial converted try on 21 minutes, when they had clearly knocked on in the tackle.
With 26 minutes on the clock, the impressive Will Titherington putt in flying fullback Robert Finlay, who raced under the posts to extend the Port lead, Carbutt adding the extras.
Birchfield hit back immediately, however, with a well worked try to make it 17-14.
But back came the Oilers, Ross Waterfield crossing the tryline after some powerful running from forwards Steve Butler and Steve Jefferies to make it 22-14 at half time.
The Oilers improved as the game went on, and took a firm grip on the game in the second half. Veteran Anthony Jones and youngster Titherington were next on the scoresheet, Carbutt converting both tries.
The scoring was completed by Mike Padmore.
Oilers head coach Steve Dorrington said: “The four 17 year olds who played today showed how to play fast, top-of-the-ground rugby, which was great to see.”
Port are next in action on Saturday, October 3 when they host Wallasey.
To coincide with the opening ceremony and England’s first game of the Rugby World Cup, the Cheshire Oaks School Sport Partnership – in conjunction with Ellesmere Port RUFC and the RFU – ran a Rugby Mega Festival for the Primary Schools of Ellesmere Port, Neston and Frodsham.
The event, at the Whitby Sports & Social Club, helped raise awareness of the World Cup and introduced young children to the sport. A total of 15 schools took part, playing tag rugby matches.
Ellesmere Port RUFC are continuing to encourage children to give rugby a try throughout the tournament, starting with a free taster morning on Sunday, September 27 (10.30am-noon).
Boys and girls aged from six to 16 are welcome.
Helsby and Christleton in fine form
Helsby built on the previous weekend’s away success at Sanbach 4ths win a resounding 85-3 success at home to Linley 3rds in Raging Bull Division Five South.
Saturday’s success sees Helsby go level on points with league leaders Acton Nomads and maintains their winning start to the season.
Raging Bull Division Two South leaders Christleton kept up their excellent start to the season with a 74-5 home rout of Didsbury Toc H 2nds.
The triumph was Christleton’s third in a row and they will be looking to stretch that to four this weekend when they travel to mid-table Stockport 3rds.