DIRECTOR of rugby Nic Corrigan enjoyed unwrapping an early Christmas present as Chester beat Caldy 36-19 to head into the one-weekend break with five straight wins.
Caldy held a 12-5 lead after half an hour but the hosts flew back into the contest and a hat-trick of tires for flanker Mike Craven put them in charge.
Richard Varkulis, James Mitchell and Guy Ford also crossed the whitewash while Rhys Hayes added three conversions.
Chester head into the break fifth in SSE National League Two North and Corrigan believes they are ready to increase the pressure on the league leaders in 2014.
“A local derby win against Caldy – I can’t ask for more of a Christmas present,” he said. “I’m really proud at how we stuck at it and how ruthless we were.
“That’s the first time this season I’ve seen a performance of our standard. It’s taken us 16 games to bed into this league and do that. We just need to build now on what we’re doing.
“Our run of form comes down to trust and it comes down to getting the best group of players and coaches you can and building a game around that.”
Corrigan was delighted with Chester’s best team performance of the campaign but he admitted Craven did produce the afternoon’s standout display.
“Mike Craven is a very talented player and he plays in a pack of forwards who allow him to do his job well,” added Corrigan. “He’s having a very good season and did a good job but it is a team effort.”
The new year will kick off with a trip to Preston Grasshoppers for Chester and director of rugby Corrigan has already allowed his mind to wander to that clash.
And, while he wishes his players a Merry Christmas and some important family time, Corrigan will not be relaxing too much.
“We get our first week off since the start of September,” he added. “I’m looking forward to getting that week off and getting these players to relax and enjoy themselves at home with their families.
“We the coaches have got to look to January 4 and start preparing for that. I’ve got videos to review, just catch up with everything that gets missed.
“It’s a break and a time for relaxing but it’s also a time for preparing properly. We will not become arrogant, we’ll trust in what we’ve done and we’ve got to improve and pick ourselves up.”
Other results: Leicester Lions 5, Birmingham & Solihull 7; Otley 9, Harrogate 25; Luctonians 24, Bromsgrove 5; Sedgley Park 39, Preston Grasshoppers 14; Darlington Mowden Park 52, Hull 7; Macclesfield 21, Sheffield Tigers 20; Stourbridge 55, Dudley Kingswinford 0.
SSE, proud sponsor of the National and Divisional Leagues, has £10,000 worth of mobile floodlights for your club to win. To find out how to enter go to www.SSERugby.com
See full story in the Chester Leader