TITLE-CHASING Chester stretched their unbeaten run to four games with a dramatic 28-25 victory over a spirited Wharfedale side at Hare Lane.

Trailing by four points in the game's closing stages, the hosts snatched victory courtesy of Guy Ford's late converted score on 78 minutes to remain within four points of the Division Two North summit.

An early penalty from Jack Blakeney-Edwards handed Wharfedale a three-point lead , before Chester hit their stride and replied with Sean Green crashing over for try converted by James Robbins.

A well-executed rolling maul from a line-out saw Chester extend their lead with Josh Woods touching down before another unerring Robbins conversion.

The visitors rallied and hit back when James Tyson charged down an attempted clearance from 30 metres out and Rhys Lovegrove collected the loose ball to score an unconverted try.

But Chester's dominance of the half was rewarded further before the interval as Shay Owen touched down for their third try to make it 21-8 at the break.

A galvanised Wharfedale emerged for the second half as converted tries from Dan Stockdale and Phil Woodhead shifted the game's momentum as Chester fell behind in the contest.

Woodhead then saw a second try ruled out with play brought back for a scrum after he had crossed under the posts.

Sustained pressure from the visitors failed to yield a further try, but a late Blakeney-Edwards penalty opened up a four-point cushion with just five minutes remaining.

But the hosts conjured a late winner after gathering possession from the restart and working through 10 phases before Ford sniped across the line for a score converted by Robbins.

Delighted head coach Jan Van Deventer said: "We haven't been making life easy for ourselves in recent weeks and this was no different.

"I felt we were clinical in attack in the first half and could even have added a couple more tries in that opening 40 minutes.

"Wharfedale came back at us and it felt as though we were looking for that golden play a bit too often. Errors crept into our performance and that helped Whafedale get a foothold in the game.

"Credit to them, they turned the screw and probably felt they'd done enough for the win, but we keep finding that extra gear late in the game to step it up and take the points.

"That's a sign of a very good side and that's exactly what we have at this club right now."

Leaders Hull Ionians retained their narrow lead over Chester, with a 35-29 success at Sedgley Park, while third-placed Huddersfield beat Stourbridge 15-10.

Preston Grasshoppers defeated basement side Peterborough Lions 28-7, Hinckley lost 29-14 at Otley, Tynedale triumphed 38-15 at Macclesfield, Fylde beat South Leicester 42-20, while Leicester Lions were held to an 18-all draw by visitors Sheffield Tigers.