Ellesmere Port 27 Helsby 15
HELSBY blew the chance of a vital victory as they went down to their fellow South Lancs/Cheshire Division Three strugglers on Saturday.
The Chester Road outfit literally kicked the game away by conceding three tries, all from charged-down kicks, after leading 8-3 at the break.
That lead had been established through Kev Ryder, who broke the deadlock with a penalty before touching down for a try he somehow failed to convert.
Helsby’s pack dominated the set plays in the first half, but they were unable to capitalise on their possession and gradually their neighbours began to gain the territorial advantage.
The Port closed the gap with a penalty after Terry O’Neill was penalised and, had it not been for a try-saving tackle by Darragh Aspull, they would have at least restored parity.
The visitors were glad to go into the interval still in front, but their advantage was overturned moments after the restart when stand-off Andy Bache had his kick charged down and the Port scored under the posts for a converted try.
The same fate then befell centre Stewart Dowling, resulting in another seven points to the hosts, before Helsby hit back with a set lineout move which John Williams finished off.
Ryder added the extras to reduce the deficit to two points only for another disastrous attempt at a clearing kick to bring the Port the third of the four tries they were to go on to score.
Scrum-half Keele Dunbar, for his tenacious work around the scrums and mauls, was named man of the match for Helsby, who are away to Parkonians in the Cheshire Plate on Saturday (2.30pm).