Chester RUFC welcome rivals Caldy to Hare Lane this weekend needing a win to keep themselves clear of the threat of relegation.
Last week’s 40-12 defeat at Macclesfield, who claimed the National Two North title as a result, leaves Chester two places and five points above the bottom three.
Fifth-placed Caldy, who beat second-placed Sedgley Park 34-19, will be out to complete a league double on Saturday (3pm) having won 20-13 when Chester made the trip up the Wirral in December.
Despite the scoreline, Jon Aby’s side gave a good account of themselves at Macclesfield, taking taking the lead in an impressive opening 40 minutes before falling away after the break.
The hosts needed a point to be crowned champions but Chester looked in the mood to spoil the party at Priory Park, putting the setback of losing lock Llion Jones in the first minute behind them to open the scoring.
After some wonderful free-flowing passing, Will Bown smashed his way past the Macclesfield defence to go over under the posts with fly-half Rhys Hayes adding the extras to give his side a well-earned lead.
The home side were struggling to get a foothold but a moment of brilliance sparked them into life as Elliot Brierley broke the line before feeding Charlie Venables who offloaded to Josh Fowles who darted over.
Macclesfield then started to turn the screw and control the tempo and late in the half an overlap ended with Ryan Parkinson sending Venables over in the corner for a 14-7 half-time lead.
Chester found themselves under growing pressure in the second period as the hosts scored four more tries.
Parkinson barged over from close range from a rolling maul before Fowles burst through from midfield to dive over a secure the try-bonus point, confirming the championship for the home side.
The Blues continued to pile the pressure on the Chester line and were awarded a penalty try to extend their lead to 33-7 before Fowles claimed his hat-trick.
Chester did have the last word of the afternoon when they scored their second try after great work from Hayes, but the day belonged to Macclesfield.