Chester 29 Longton 0

CHESTER showed no signs of ring rustiness as they returned to action with a bang at Hare Lane on Saturday.

Rob Foden’s men had not played a competitive fixture since before Christmas due to the festive break and the cold snap which followed it. But some hard work on the training paddock ensured Chester hit the ground running at the weekend.

The hosts took just two minutes to open the scoring, flanker Andy Moore crashing over and Tom Foden converting.

Chester kept the pressure on and it finally told in the 21st minute when a quickly-taken penalty saw a long floated pass find Simon Verbickas in space. The veteran steeled himself before charging over to score, with Foden again converting.

Not even being reduced to 14 men could halt Chester. With Gareth Sanger in the sin bin, prop James Whitelock-Wainwright burst free and found wing Ed Chantler, who scored under the posts, allowing Foden an easy conversion.

The contest was won by half-time as Foden converted a long-distance penalty – via the crossbar – to make it 24-0 by half-time.

Two more Chester players spent spells in the sin bin after the break, but Longton were unable to crack the hosts’ defence.

The only score of the second period came from Verbickas, who finished off after some good handling play by the backline.

Tomorrow, Chester are away to South Leicester, who started their 2009 campaign by beating Midlands One leaders Luctonians.

Head coach Foden said: “If we can go to South Leicester and get two points, then our promotion challenge is back on course. A very important weekend is in front of us.”