Bradford & Bingley 18 Chester 36
HEAD coach Nic Corrigan felt his side were fortunate to come away from Bradford & Bingley with a win after turning in a lethargic display.
The visitors trailed 13-10 at the break but some stern words at half time drew an improved performance from the players.
Chester ended up pocketing five points from the match, stretching their lead at the top of the National Three North table after title rivals Harrogate lost to Percy Park.
Corrigan said: “It wasn’t a great performance. I was disappointed really and the lads need to take a look at themselves. They were not hungry enough and I need to see a change in people.”
Corrigan added: “We weren’t at the races but we got away with it. We were lucky.”
Chester’s players will enjoy a break from action this weekend as they do not have a fixture.
Instead, they will be called in for an early training session before travelling en masse to Preston to support Chester 2nds in their North West Intermediate Rugby Union Leagues Cup second round tie.
Players, officials and fans will then return to Hare Lane for the club’s annual panto.
The break comes at a good time as it gives Chester’s walking wounded – including crocked front row duo Liam Gill and Wesley Malton – time to recover. The pair picked up injuries in Saturday’s bruising encounter against Bradford.
The home side fell behind to an early Lloyd Hayes penalty but hit back to lead 13-3 thanks to a converted try and two penalties. Before the break, Rhys Hayes scored to reduce the arrears, his brother Lloyd adding the extras.
Chester then blew Bradford away in the second period.
Pat Coy scored two tries, either side of a score from Lloyd Hayes.
Sean Green also helped himself to a try before Bradford replied with a late consolation. With Hayes successful with three of the four conversions, Chester finished well on top.
In the Raging Bull North West League, Chester 2nds went down 34-30 at home to Preston GH 2nds in the Bateman BMW Premier while Christleton edged to a 19-17 success over Crewe & Nantwich in Division Four South.
Helsby lost 38-17 at home to Parkonians in South Lancs/Cheshire Three.