Rochdale 5 Chester 69
CHESTER underlined their promotion credentials with a thumping away win on Saturday.
They now have a strong grip on second place in Division Three North, meaning they are the favourites to claim the end-of-season play-off spot behind champions Stockport.
Rossendale are six points behind in third, with a game in hand – at home to Beverley this Saturday.
Chester, meanwhile, do not play this weekend, but their final match of the campaign is a derby at Birkenhead Park on Saturday week.
The clash at Rochdale was hugely one-sided, but the hosts were the first side to score.
A third-minute try acted as an early wake-up call for Chester, who proceeded to put 69 unanswered points on the scoreboard.
The forwards took the game by the scruff of the neck and Chester found themselves ahead when prop Ben Williams drove over, allowing Rhys Hayes an easy conversion.
Irrepressible scrum-half Tom Chappell then went over, Hayes converting, before wing Matt Sheen ended his long drought with a brace of tries.
After seeing his fellow wing score two tries, Pete Rees decided it was his turn to get in on the act with a brace of his own as Chester powered to a massive half-time lead.
More of the same followed after the restart.
Sheen completed his hat-trick and Hayes took the score into the 50s when he scored with a piece of individual brilliance.
As the scoring rate slowed slightly, Bryn Snellgrove and Will Bown added their names to the list of Chester try-scorers.
Chester 2nds defeated Liverpool St Helens 2nds 43-10 at Hare Lane.
Richard Minshull’s side, who are mid-table in the Bateman BMW Premier League, host Altrincham Kersal 2nds this Saturday.