Chester RUFC suffered their third defeat on the spin after going down 27-21 at struggling Wharfedale.
The Hare Lane outfit travelled to Yorkshire looking to get back to winning ways against a side who were sitting in the National League Two North relegation places prior to kick off.
But an outstanding first half performance from the hosts proved decisive as Chester fell short on the road, slipping to seventh in the process while their hosts hauled themselves out of the drop zone.
It was Dale who started the game the brighter of the two teams and only some loose play seemed to stop them crossing the whitewash.
Wharfedale attacked and attacked but only poor execution stopped them from opening their account with Chester having to weather plenty of pressure from the home side.
Jimmy Bullough eventually crashed under the posts for the hosts for a converted try.
Chester looked to find a way back into the game but were stifled by some strong defensive work from Dale, and it was home side who landed the next blow when Tom Barrett touched down out wide and added the extras for a 14-0 lead.
Chester briefly came into the game. Only last man tackles from Barrett, Oli Cicognini and Bullough kept them out. A penalty from Callum Bennett was scant reward for the sustained period of pressure.
Chester couldn’t make their pressure pay late in the half and went further behind against the run of play when Robbie Davidson crossed, with Barrett once again kicking over to see Wharfedale 21-3 to the good at the half time interval.
The second half started well for the home side with a Barrett penalty sailing through the posts early on but the game turned after Dale’s Richard Rhodes was sinbinned.
An unconverted try from Harrison Vare was followed by a Joshua Morris penalty before Morris’s conversion of Ross White’s try brought Chester to within a score and lead to some nervy moments for the home side.
Barrett kicked over a penalty to ease some fears before Morris responded in kind to set up a nailbiting finale.
But it was to prove too little, too late for Chester as they left Yorkshire with nothing to show for their efforts.
Chester are back in action this weekend when they welcome third-placed Sedgley Park to Hare Lane (3pm).
Devas run riot
Chester Devas had a player advantage from the start against Doncaster Demons, and they took full advantage, recording a 61-0 success.
Devas meant business from the kick off and we’re straight at the Demons, with quick hands it was only minutes before no.8, Ellie Magee, was over the line for Chester’s first try which was not converted.
It set the the tone and there were further scores from Magee (2), Ruby Hughes, Eliza Waldron (4), Sam Evans and Sally Conyers as Chester ran riot.