Chester maintained their 100% winning home record in National League 2 North on Saturday with a hard-fought 10-3 success over Wharfedale.
The character of the match was determined in the hour before kick off when heavy rain started to fall.
The result was a slippery playing surface and an even slippier ball with both sides failing to fully master the need to retain it.
But, with the wind at their backs, Chester started promisingly and, after going close to scoring on two occasions, they broke the deadlock in the eighth minute through a 28m Liam McGovern penalty.
Jan van Deventer’s side continued to dominate territory and to create half-chances.
However, they were unable to make progress on the scoreboard, partly because of a willing Wharfedale defence, but also by being a over-ambitious with their offloads given the difficult conditions.
And, after right-wing Macca van Sertima had a try ruled out, Ross Davidson’s penalty restored parity against the run of play.
But Chester made what proved to be a match-winning breakthrough in the 30th minute.
Following a scrum in midfield, Craig Ross made progress up the wing before the forwards took over, winning quick ball in the Wharfedale 22.
They then moved the ball to Andy Baston who charged over for a try that McGovern expertly converted.
The second half was the reverse of the first with Wharfedale able to harness the elements to their advantage and Chester unable to exit their own half for any period of time.
The visitors’ scrum became increasingly dominant as the period progressed but they were unable to turn ample pressure into points.
In fact, the best opportunity of the half fell to the hosts just after the hour mark when a fumble and slick handling put Craig Ross in for a well-worked try that was chalked off for a forward pass.
However, the real drama was to come at the death.
As the game approached the 80th minute, Wharfedale were camped deep in the Chester 22. The referee set five-metre scrums five times, any of which might have led to a pushover or a penalty try, but the home forwards held firm.
On the fifth occasion the Wharfedale pack attempted to batter their way over with ceaseless pick and goes.
But the home defence was excellent and, as the half reached the 50th minute, forced a knock-on to seal the win.
Chester head to basement boys Sheffield this Saturday.
Chester 2nds won 32-5 at home to Preston Grasshoppers last Saturday, the 3rds went down 21-7 at Didsbury Toc H 2nds, while Chester Relics were 33-10 winners at home to Bradford & Bingley Vets.
Christleton lost 33-7 at home to Newton-le-Willows but Helsby won 44-5 at home to Congleton 2nds.