Kendal 5 Chester 50
CHESTER will go into their weekend break with praise ringing in their ears.
Director of rugby Tim Doig and head coach Nic Corrigan hailed their free-scoring side after they produced a superb team performance to demolish Kendal.
A ninth bonus point win of the campaign kept second-placed Chester – who are averaging 43.5 points per game – hot on the heels of unbeaten leaders Harrogate.
The top two will go head-to-head at Hare Lane on Saturday week (November 17) in what will be the biggest match of the National League Three North season so far.
But for now Chester’s players are basking in the glory of the stunning Kendal success.
Corrigan said: “Along with our win over Burnage, it was the most complete 80-minute performance we’ve given.”
Saturday’s trip to Cumbria came at the end of a difficult week as important family matters meant Corrigan was to forced to miss last Thursday’s training session.
But led by Doig and captain Andy Moore, Chester’s players rallied around their head coach and ensured the preparations for the Kendal clash remained unaffected.
The Hare Lane outfit showed similar togetherness when the game got under way after a 15-minute delay while water was cleared off the soggy pitch.
Garry Holmes made the most of a mistake in the ruck to give the hosts a deserved early lead.
But the try sparked Chester into life. Lloyd Hayes reduced the deficit with a penalty and then added the first of his six conversions after inspirational support play led to Liam Gill going over.
Later on in the first half Gill was sent to the sin bin for a team yellow card. That, however, failed to stop Huw Grundy from finishing off a great passage of play.
Leading 15-5 at the break, Chester were challenged during a rousing half-time team talk to take their game to a new level. They responded by scoring two brilliant tries within six minutes of the restart.
The returning Sean Green and Rhys Hayes set up Lloyd Hayes to touch down under the posts before Grundy crashed over after a fine break by Will Goodwin.
The title challengers were now in full flow and playing some excellent rugby so it came as no surprise when three further tries followed.
Goodwin played in Gill for his second before Lloyd Hayes notched a quick-fire brace to complete his hat-trick.
The man of the match kicked all three conversions to finish the game with 30 points to his name.