Nic Corrigan declared himself happy with the progress shown by his young Chester side after they fell to a battling defeat in Staffordshire on Saturday.

In driving rain and strong winds, Corrigan’s men provided a big test for second-placed Stourbridge on a heavy pitch at their Bridgnorth Road home.

The visitors kept scoring chances for their lofty opponents to a minimum and matched Stourbridge for long periods, something which heartened head coach Corrigan.

“Saturday was bittersweet for me as, although we lost, our lads played really well and were on the wrong end of some questionable refereeing and a couple of mistakes,” said Corrigan.

“We tried to keep mistakes to a minimum but a side like Stourbridge was always going to capitalise on the slightest slip up.

“We knew that it was going to be a tough ask going there as they’re such a strong side. They’re pretty much a Division One team.

“What it did provide, however, was a chance to see just how far we’ve progressed as a club and the young talent that we possess here. It bodes well for the future.”

Chester fell behind after only four minutes on Saturday, Stourbridge’s Jamie Hearn crossing the line for a converted try to put them 7-0 up.

The homesters doubled their advantage on 19 minutes, Nigel Mukarati fending off a battling Tom Foden to cross for another converted try.

Foden’s brave attempt to stop Mukarati saw him forced off the field with concussion and replaced by Andrew Oakden.

From then on Chester defended manfully, resisting the home side and denying them the opportunity to further their advantage.

Corrigan’s charges rallied in the second half but were themselves unable to break through a resolute Stourbridge rearguard.

After being particularly impressed by the perfomance of his youngsters, Corrigan said that recruitment would be the key to further progression next season.

“We’re already looking into adding quality players to the side for next season to complement the young talent that we have here already,” said Corrigan.

“We want to progress and be even more competitive next season and adding quality players who will stick with us and help us develop is key to that.”

Chester host struggling Otley in the SSE National League Two North at Hare Lane on Saturday (3pm).

Chester triumphed over the Yorkshire side in the reverse fixture earlier, claiming a 27-31 victory to bring an end to a run of four straight defeats.