Chester 27 Penrith 18
VETERAN Gareth Sanger brought down the curtain on his Hare Lane career by sealing victory for Chester against in-form Penrith on Saturday.
Penrith led the majority of the way until a late rally from the hosts.
Chester coach Dave Craven was happy stalwart Sanger had been able to round off his home playing career with a victory.
He said: “It was very pleasing to win this one. Penrith had won their last nine games on the trot.
“It’s the last home game for Gareth – all our last four games are away because of rearranged fixtures.
“Gareth joined us in 2001. He is now a veteran. He has played 189 games for us and his experience is influential. He is now going to do some coaching and get some experience there.”
Sanger led his forwards for the first 50 minutes before being replaced by newcomer Mark Vaughn-Jones.
Penrith had begun the stronger of the two sides and took the lead with a penalty. A couple of missed tackles allowed Penrith to extend their lead when their big second row trundled over to make the score 8-0. Just before half time, Rhys Hayes managed to cut the lead with a well-taken penalty.
After the break, Penrith extended the gap to 10 points via a well-worked try, but this galvanised Chester.
From a solid scrum they put together three phases to bring Marcus Lyon to score under the posts, allowing Hayes an easy conversion.
Penrith fought back with a try in the corner but Chester maintained the pressure, with man-of-the-match Sean Green powering past the Penrith defence to score under the posts. Hayes converted.
Chester finally took the lead in the 73rd minute thanks to a long-range Hayes penalty and, backed by the crowd, chose to kick into the corner rather than go for goal. From the ensuing lineout a good catch and drive ended with Ross White being driven over and a Hayes conversion denied the visitors a losing bonus point.
In South Lancs/Cheshire Three on Saturday, Helsby went down 32-17 at Holmes Chapel. They host Knutsford this Saturday.
Christleton, mid-table in Division Four West of the Miller Homes League, go to Ormskirk 3rds on Saturday.