Ross White and Mike Craven believe Chester RUFC take the positives from an 18-11 defeat at home to Stourbridge into this week’s trip to Sale.
Although the Hare Lane club have lost three on the bounce, the experienced pack pair said the performance was a step up on recent efforts.
In an error strewn, attritional match both sides struggled with the gusting wind and rain and Chester lost out but could have forced a draw in the final minutes if not for some stout defence from the visitors.
White said: “I think it was one of our better games but we just didn’t get the result. We played to the conditions and managed the game a lot better, we just need to execute everything correctly from now on. It’s going to be a hard week of training this week to prepare for Sale.”
Chester started with the elements behind them but could not build up enough of a cushion to protect in the second period.
Rhys Hayes booted them into the lead with a penalty from 45 minutes and things seemed to be going well on 13 minute when George Nott won a lineout and good work from the pack resulted in captain Guy Ford crossing wide out. Hayes missed narrowly with the conversion for an 8-0 advantage.
A penalty at the breakdown allowed the visitors to close to within five points and as the half drew to a close Stourbridge levelled with a well-taken score from Ashley Elvers to go in tied at 8-8.
Now playing into the wind and rain, Chester had a tough assignment in the second-half but made a decent start with Hayes landing a penalty to nudge them back in front.
However, a succession of infringements resulted in a penalty try for Stourbridge to move them 15-11 ahead and the visitors took full advantage of the conditions to pin the home side back, extending the lead to 18-11 with another penalty.
Chester refused to throw in the towel and worked hard to get back into the game with good drives from Ford and Gavin Woods, but a well-drilled Stourbridge defence managed a to hold out for the win.
Following the game, Craven said: "It was a big improvement on last week and we now have something to work on to set a better platform for ourselves before we go to play Sale next week."
Helsby claim valuable win
Helsby entertained Action Nomads in a crucial game at the top of Division Five South. Despite the dark and gloomy conditions, Helsby produced some scintillating rugby but went into half-time with a narrow 15-7 lead.
Acton put them under plenty of pressure in the second period and scored two tries, but Helsby’s determination saw them come back to claim a deserved 45-21 victory.
Devas close in on leaders
Chester Devas travelled to Ormskirk in RFUW National Challenge North One and recorded an emphatic 61-5 victory.
Given horrendous conditions of wind, rain and hail, the Devas went out with a simple plan to keep the game tight and go home with a win and a bonus point.
And it worked to perfection with a ruthless performance taking them to within three points of league leaders Sefton.
The Devas took the lead through fly-half Sam Evans and although a deflected kick resulted in Ormskirk hitting back, that was as good as things got for the hosts.
Chester kept the ball in hand ran at the opposition, putting pressure on the defence and hitting the gaps that began to appear.
With captain Gill Capper and scrum-half Ruby Hughes guiding the team, the Devas racked up the points with Evans the start performer as she finished with five tries.
Derby delight for Swans
Christleton took the bragging rights in Division Two South with a 34-10 win at home to Chester 3rds. The tries came from Adie Robinson (2), Stephen White (2) and Gareth Roberts with Jim Taylor adding three conversions and a penalty.