Darlington MP 9Chester 15
A NEW-LOOK Chester side kicked off the season with an impressive away win in National League Three North.
The visitors’ back line contained only one player – fullback Pat Coy – from the team which finished the previous campaign.
It was perhaps understandable that Chester started slowly and fell 6-0 down to a brace of penalties, but the new arrivals in the visitors’ line-up soon began to acquit themselves well.
Chester halved the deficit when Lloyd Hayes, deputising at fly-half for his older brother Rhys, struck a penalty from 30m.
Hayes then boomed a penalty deep into the Mowden Park half and, following a drive by the forwards, prop Ben Williams dived over the line to score.
Hayes missed the conversion but he made amends before half-time by adding the extras to a superb try from Sean Green, now back with Chester following a spell at Macclesfield.
It meant the visitors held a 15-6 lead at the break – and they held firm during the second period, conceding only one penalty despite playing into the wind and into the face of some driving rain. In the final quarter, Hayes missed a penalty which would have given the final scoreline a more convincing gloss.
Chester travel to Bradford & Bingley this Saturday.
A late penalty saw Chester 2nds open their season with a 28-28 draw against Stockport 2nds at Hare Lane.
Tom Blackwell and Andy Baston scored tries in the first half, with Baston adding a second after the interval. Noma Davey kicked the points for Chester. The 2nds host Vale of Lune this Saturday.