CHESTER took a step nearer to a historic promotion as they secured their National League Two play-off spot with a 31-0 win over Otley at Hare Lane.

Victory for Hull Ionians saw the north east club wrap up the league title in their penultimate game of the season.

But Chester’s latest result means they are now assured of a runners-up spot and the chance to reach the third tier for the first time in their history.

Delighted head coach Jan Van Deventer said: “Making the top two at this level is a first for the club and I’m just so proud of the boys efforts this season.

“It’s been a long season and it’s all credit to the players that they’ve produced some big results and found great consistency to finish so strongly in a highly competitive league.

“Otley dug in well for the duration and it was a scrappy game at times.

“That meant we didn’t quite get to put on the display of rugby we wanted to for our fans in our last home game of the season.

“But we ended the game well and put ourselves out of sight with the quality of our finishing late in the game.”

The tightly-contested opening exchanges saw chances for both sides, before Harrison Vare darted over the whitewash from 10 metres out for a try converted by James Robins.

The hosts opened up a 12-0 lead before the interval when hooker Alick Croft drove over the whitewash from a rolling maul, with Robins’ missing narrowly with the resultant conversion attempt.

Chester imposed themselves to greater effect after the break with Colin Campbell crossing for their third try of the afternoon before Vare secured the bonus point with his second of the contest.

The final try from Tom Foden added the gloss to the scoreline and came from a charge down on the Otley five-metre line late in the game.

Ionians got their hands on the league trophy with a hard-fought 48-30 home victory over Leicester Lions while third-placed Huddersfield triumphed 17-12 at Wharfedale.

Fylde were beaten 28-12 at home by in-for Sedgley Park, Hinckley edged out Sheffield Tigers 37-34, Tynedale were 68-35 victors at Peterborough Lions, Preston Grasshoppers triumphed 51-34 at South Leicester, while Stourbridge beat visitors Macclesfield 48-22.