Chester RUFC defeat league leaders Hinckley in tense thriller

Reporter:

Charlie Croasdale

CHESTER claimed their most impressive result of the season to date with a brilliant, battling to a 12-8 victory over league leaders Hinckley at Hare Lane.

Jan van Deventer’s side turned in a spirited display in testing conditions and took the points late on courtesy of Andy Baston’s 77th minute try.

The Leicestershire visitors came into the clash with only two defeats from their 14 league games to date but were behind early on when Alex Croft crossed the whitewash after some patient build-up play from the hosts.

James Robbins made no mistake with the conversion to put Chester 7-0 ahead after 10 minutes.

Despite boasting a heavier pack, Hinckley were unable to impose themselves meaningfully up front in the contest as Chester’s kicking game frequently relieved the pressure.

The visitors did reduce arrears soon before half-time through Mitch Lamb who ran in from close range before Callum Dacy’s wayward conversion attempt kept Chester 7-5 ahead at the interval.

Hinckley upped the pressure in the second half with sustained incursions into Chester territory.

Chester defended doggedly but found themselves behind midway through the half when Dacy despatched a penalty to give Hinckley a slender one-point lead.

But it was the hosts who had the final word when Robbins’ kick to touch found the Hinckley 22 metre line and from the resulting line-out the ball was worked out to Baston who powered across the line from 10 metres to snatch victory.

Despite a missed conversion from Robbins, van Deventer’s side held firm in the closing stages to take an impressive victory.

Reflecting on the result, van Deventer said: “It’s our best result of the season by a long way. Certainly on current form, with there’s compared to ours, I don’t think anyone gave us a chance of coming away with a win.

“The pitch was really heavy and bit of a leveller on the day although I felt the conditions would have suited them better with their sizeable pack.

“But I felt we managed to nullify that particular threat really well throughout the game and it was a phenomenal effort from all of the lads. We kept it tight with a very disciplined performance and I felt like we came away with a deserved victory for the massive effort we put into the game.”

Third-placed Sedgley Park closed on the  leaders with a 31-14 win at Sheffield, Leicester Lions were 11-5 victors over Sheffield Tigers, Otley prevailed 23-18 at Luctonians while Stourbridge inflicted a 39-25 defeat on Macclesfield.

Email:

charlie.croasdale@nwn.co.uk

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