Chester Gladiators found promotion hopefuls Burtonwood Bridge too strong as the Warrington side recorded a 58-12 win in North West Men's League Division Three.
An under-strength Chester side competed well for much of the first-half but conceded three times in quick succession approaching the break as the visitors took charge.
The Gladiators improved in the second period and refused to throw in the towel, crossing for two tries through Ryan Turner and Benji Marsh with Turner adding two conversions. Craig Jones, captain Mark Kingsley and Paul Welch all made strong contributions.
Despite the result, Chester can take heart from a battling display with the odds stacked against them and now have two weeks to prepare for a trip to Blackpool Scorpions on July 22.
n The Gladiators new U13s team had their first fixture together with a visit to Telford Raiders RLFC.
In a pulsating game of rugby league, Chester led for much of the contest before a late rally from the home side secured a 36-28 win against the tiring Gladiators.
With no replacements and in baking sunshine, it was a big challenge for Chester and the performance bodes well for the future as the squad continue to develop.
Tries came from Josh McAndrew (4), Ben Davies, Ed Stockton and John Lally with Alex Antrobus named man of the match for an impressive debut.
Chester U11s faced a difficult challenge against Newton Storm but came through to claim a 24-18 win and make it nine victories from 10 games this season.
Tries came from Matthew Morris, Reuben Sharp, Henry Boakes, Nick Nowell and Zach Brookes with conversions from Jake Hulmes and Nick Nowell.
The Gladiators U10s had another well-matched game with Latchford Giants and edged this encounter 28-18.
Alex Woodbury was named player of the match for his brilliant efforts running down half chances, claiming loose balls and running onto kicks from Max Follows and Luke Johnson.
The Gladiators U9s represented the club at the Adam 'Carney' Cooper Festival in memory of the Culcheth Eagles Rugby League player who tragically died during a match for his team this month while Chester U7s hosted a strong Clock Face Miners side and showed great attitudes to battle against the odds. The game finished 20-44 to Clock Face but there were plenty of positives for the Gladiators including a fine score from Matthew Turner.
See full story in the Chester Leader