Chester RUFC fell to 23-14 defeat at Huddersfield in miserable conditions to drop to ninth in National League Two North.
A stunning second-half performance from the home side condemned Jon Aby’s men to just their second away defeat of the season.
A mixture of brilliant Chris Bell kicking, a moment of magic from Elliot Hodgson, who once played in Super League for Huddersfield Giants, earned the West Yorkshire hosts a deserved win.
Chester went into the game on the back of a 26-7 victory against Leicester Lions and took an early 6-0 lead with two penalties from fly-half Callum Bennett.
Huddersfield responded with a three-pointer from Bell but on 25 minutes the visitors crossed for the first try of the afternoon through Guy Ford.
Chester’s captain forced his way over the line following a scrum deep into the Huddersfield 22 to touch down and give Bennett the opportunity to convert, but he was unable to.
Bell knocked over his second penalty of the game to keep Huddersfield in touch and reduced the deficit to 11-6 at half time.
At the start of the second half it looked like the same old story for the home team as Chester recorded points in the first few minutes with another penalty from Bennett.
But it was after this that Huddersfield turned it on and took charge of the contest.
Bell made it a hat-trick of penalties before Chester were desperately defending on their line, but a determined driving maul from the line out got Ben Hoyle over the try line to give Bell the opportunity to convert, which he did to give his team the lead for the first time at 16-14.
Huddersfield extended the advantage to 23-14 in the last 10 minutes when the quick-footed Hodgson skipped past two or three challenges before sliding over the line in the wet conditions to the delight of the home fans. Bell maintained his 100% record with the boot to seal the win.
Chester host second-placed Sedgley Park at Hare Lane on Saturday (2.15pm).
Christleton and Helsby had blank weekends but both return to action this week. The Swans entertain Sefton 2nds in Division Two South and Helsby travel to Old Bedians 3rds in Division Five South.
Chester Devas continue to break new ground after an impressive start to the 2015-16 season on and off the pitch.
Formed in 2011, the team have recorded three wins from four games in the RFUW National Challenge North One division, beating Doncaster, Hull and Halifax.
The Devas, who train twice a week, have built a committed squad, with players travelling from Newton-le-Willows and Crewe as well as nearer to home, under head coach Craig Hamilton.
Team manager Alison Simcock explained the strides that have been made over the past few seasons. She said: “Sabrina McGill, Gill Capper and Lauren Sargeant started the team and I came on board about two years ago.
“We had a few little teething problems early on but this past season recruitment has really picked up and we’ve now got under-13s and 15s girls training too.
“We’ve developed great links with the University of Chester and we’re very grateful to Mike Hockenhull of Deva Services for his sponsorship of the team.
More women than ever are playing rugby union, in part down to the national team’s success at the 2014 World Cup in which England defeated Canada in the final to win the tournament for the first time since 1994.
However, the distance between teams means the Devas will complete three trips to Yorkshire this season and one to the Isle of Man. Alison said the team would be delighted to hear from companies interested in sponsorship to help then meet the costs of travel.
The Devas place a great emphasis on the social aspect of the game with Hare Lane hosting a wide range of events through the season for players, friends and families.
For more details about getting involved with the team get in touch via Twitter @ChesterDevas.
Ellesmere Port RUFC
Ellesmere Port kept up their excellent winning streak with a workmanlike 38-17 victory against a spirited Oxton Parkonians side.
The Oilers opened the scoring when Billy Rennox dived over in the corner following a fine move for a 5-0 lead and Anthony Griffiths charged a kick down and scooped up to cross with Will Titherington’s conversion making it 12-0.
Torrential rain made conditions difficult for both teams but Parkonians hit back with a converted score from an interception to reduce the lead to five points. But back came Ellesmere Port with another well-worked move ending with the rapid Josh Edge touching down to put his side 17-7 ahead but that sparked a response from Oxton and two tries either side of the break drew them level at 17-17.
Oilers captain Jim Shinton read the riot act to his troops and he got the desired response with three unanswered tries for a deserved but hard-fought win.
First up the excellent Joe White barraged over from a close range penalty then loosehead prop Niall Grant rampaged through the defence to score before White appeared on Titherington’s inside shoulder and ran in from 30 meters for his second.
Head coach Steve Dorrington said: “It wasn’t a classic game but I’m proud of everyone who played in horrendous conditions and the lads gave their all.”