Bradford & Bingley 13Chester 27
FOR the second weekend in a row, Chester travelled to one of the league’s pre-season favourites for promotion – and returned to Hare Lane with an impressive win under their belts.
Having opened up the campaign with a narrow victory at Darlington Mowden Park, Chester made it two wins from two on Saturday with a bonus-points success at Bradford and Bingley, another of the fancied sides in National League Three North.
Chester, with director of rugby Tim Doig handing debuts to prop John Shirley, wing Tom Blackwell and fly-half Liam McGovern, tore into the hosts from the first whistle.
With barely a minute on the clock, No8 Will Bown played in Josh Leach for the opening score.
But Bradford responded, taking an 8-5 lead thanks to a penalty and unconverted try.
Chester did not panic and hit back in style. A try by Blackwell was converted by Rhys Hayes, who also added a penalty before converting a try from full-back Pat Coy, giving the away side a 22-8 lead at the break.
Bradford narrowed the gap to nine points with a second-half score.
The hosts then proceeded to throw everything but the proverbial kitchen sink at their opponents, but Chester defended magnificently to a man.
The visiting forwards somehow found a second wind and, with only minutes left on the clock, prop Ben Latham forced himself over the line to complete the scoring for Chester.
The next match for Chester is a home game – their first in the league this season – against old adversaries Birkenhead Park this Saturday. Kick-off at Hare Lane is at 3pm.
Chester 2nds overcame Vale of Lune 2nds in a high scoring Bateman Premier League game at Hare Lane, winning 35-30.
Chester led 21-10 at half time thanks to tries by centre Pete Rees, forward Andy Baston and winger Marc Sorrention. Fly-half Lloyd Griffiths added three conversions.
Star man Baston and flanker Gaz Smith added to the hosts’ tally in the second half – Griffiths kicking the extras – as Chester held off a Stockport revival.
Chester 2nds are away to Macclesfield 2nds this Saturday.