CHESTER will aim to kick-start their season when they play the first of two important matches at Hare Lane tomorrow.
Middlesbrough are the visitors and they face a Chester side searching for their first North One win at the third attempt.
Having gone out of the Powergen Trophy following a 28-20 third-round defeat to Kendal last Saturday, Steve Dorrington's men are in need of a positive result.
And a good victory against Middlesbrough would send out a message of intent to New Brighton, who visit Hare Lane next Wednesday for a Cheshire Cup quarter-final tie (7.30pm).
Chester paid the price for a slow start against higher grade opponents Kendal last week, but director of rugby Dorrington was keen to take away the positives.
He said: 'Although we lost and didn't particularly play that well, we are beginning to gel as a side. The league is the priority and we have been working very hard this week as we face stiff opposition at the weekend.'
Kendal were first on the scoresheet with a converted try on Saturday following a combination of errors from Chester, first in attack and then in defence.
Kendal then extended their lead to 12-0 following yet another Chester error but a Matt Bebbington penalty after 30 minutes gave the hosts hope at 12-3.
Chester soon became a little anxious and gave silly penalties away for impatience, allowing the Kendal kicker to stroke over two penalties.
Half-time changes paid off for Chester and they pulled the score back to 18-8 with a fine try from Shaun Green following good work from Jim Lyle.
Kendal hit back with a penalty but then a try from Paul Brett had Chester sensing a comeback at 21-15.
With the home side forcing the issue, Kendal capitalised on a Chester mistake and recorded an unconverted try to make it 28-15.
The impressive Mike Gallimore replied with another try for Chester but it was too little too late.
Dorrington singled out Brett, Gallimore and Andy Moore for special praise, with Moore claiming the Walker Smith Way man of the match award.
Chester (from): Gav Woods, Nathan S Jones, Dan Fitzgerald, Steve Bellis, Gareth Sanger, Matt Bellamy, Andy Moore, Gareth Noon, Mike Gallimore, Matt Bebbington, Ian Brookes, Steve Burke, Paul Brett, Jim Lyle, Shaun Green, Steve Johnson, Phil Cottle, Martin Clarke.