CHESTER were soundly beaten by Sale at Hare Lane as the visitors recorded a convincing 40-10 victory.

A bright start from Sale saw them take a quick tap-penalty and work the ball wide for Chris Mayor who stepped inside before touching down, with Chris Johnson adding the extras.

The hosts responded well and after sustained pressure in the Sale half were awarded a penalty which Liam McGovern despatched.

But the visitors seized control when a swift breakaway move was finished off by Dan Birch before Johnson converted once more.

Sale upped the tempo and Mark Lawrence was able to squeeze through gap in the home defence for a third converted try.

And a bonus point was secured before the interval when Chris Owen touched down in the corner before Johnson’s conversion made it 28-3 at half-time. A rolling maul for Chester soon after the restart was eventually finished off by Kyle Joseph for a score converted by McGovern.

But there was no second-half fightback from the hosts as a penalty try for a deliberate knock on put Sale 35-10 ahead, before Andy Hughes’ crossed for a late solo try.

Chester coach Jan van Deventer said: “We’ve got no complaints with the result – the better team on the day won. It was a one-sided game and Sale showed why they’re only two points off the top of the table with another strong away performance. We couldn't cope with their quality and they dominated us for much of the game.”

Leaders Hinckley won 35-0 Stourbridge, Tynedale edged to a 40-38 win at Luctonians while Macclesfield lost 23-17 at Otley.

Huddersfield were 32-30 winners against Sedgley Park, Wharfedale beat South Leicester 28-25 while Sheffield were 14-7 victors against Leicester Lions.