CHESTER kept their promotion hopes alive but they had a fright from a team with only one North One victory so far this season.
In the first 15 minutes Chester were magnificent and blew the opposition away with what can only be described as a power-play.
Backs and forwards combined, recycling ball at every opportunity to create chance after chance. It was loose-head prop Gavin Woods who broke the deadlock after five minutes with a powerful drive for the line following creative and patient build-up. The conversion attempt was missed.
Almost immediately from the restart Chester were at it again being excellently marshalled by the commanding Colin Ellis who was next on the scoresheet following great interplay in midfield between Tom Foden, Neil Parsley and quick-thinking Jim Lyle. Up stepped Ellis and outpaced the bewildered Boro defence to score under the posts. Simon Verbickas added the extras to make the score 12-0.
From the kick-off Chester were back in the Boro 22 forcing their way toward the line. The ball kept being presented to the patient backs and following a fine move Lyle raced over in the corner to extend the lead.
With 15 minutes gone, Boro must have thought they were going to be on the wrong end of a cricket score, but they hit back and managed to stop the quickly recycled ball that Chester had created in the first quarter and started demanding possession of their own.
They were gifted a try as Chester tried to be a little too adventurous near their own line. They were turned over and Boro went over for a simple, converted try to get back into the game at 17-7. Now with their tales up, Boro again pressed at Chester and eventually were rewarded with another try to bring them in touch at 17-12 at half-time.
Chester director of rugby Steve Dorrington and backs' coach Rob Foden tried to steady Chester nerves at half-time by explaining that they needed to get back to how they played in the first quarter to blow the opposition away and not to panic and play silly rugby.
This didn't seem to work as Boro came straight at Chester and scored a penalty to close the gap to just two points and then scored a converted try to take the lead. This appeared to shell-shock the Chester side into action and with the introduction of Aled Davies, they went back to their earlier mode of play and again hit the visitors with pace and power.
Substitute Ian Brookes looked lively every time he got the ball and at the third time of asking he broke free to score a very good try in the corner on 60 minutes to equalise.
With Chester well on due to superior fitness, pace and power, Matt Sheen converted another good performance into another try to add to his growing list which was duly converted by Verbickas.
Helsby 23 Capenhurst 22: A narrow win saw Helsby go second in the league.
In a tight game the visitors started strongly and were rewarded with a well-taken try, while an Andy Rowlinson penalty opened Helsby's account, but a second score by Capenhurst gave them a good lead.
Helsby got themselves back in the game when good hands allowed wing Rich Albel to cross near the corner, Rowlinson's conversion making the half-time score 14-10.
A strong start by Helsby produced another Rowlinson penalty to put them back in the game and they took the lead for the first time when Jim Gray went on a rampaging run and brilliantly off-loaded in the tackle to allow Bob Merrill the chance to race in from 20 yards, Rowlinson converting.
Capenhurst refused to give up and reduced the deficit with a penalty which was cancelled out by another Rowlinson penalty, and with time running out Capenhurst scored near the corner. The conversion was missed and Helsby held on for the victory.
Helsby's Frodsham Tandoori man-of-the-match was Jim Gray for his strong running and excellent defence.
Helsby host third-place Parkonians tomorrow (2.30pm).