CHESTER ROMANS suffered defeat against an unbeaten Sandwell Steelers side to end their hopes of qualifying for the play-offs.

Their 43-0 loss against the league leaders leaves the Romans fifth in the NFC 1 South division after two wins from their eight games so far.

That position in the six-team league will be cemented on Sunday if Nottingham beat Doncaster Mustangs, regardless of Chester’s result with Lancashire.

A Doncaster victory, though, will leave the Romans needing to beat either the Lancashire Wolverines this weekend or the Mustangs themselves on July 21 in their final match of the season.

Sandwell Steelers, meanwhile, have secured top spot in the division after their recording their eighth consecutive success against Chester.

The West Midlands side got off to a strong start at the Cheshire County Sports Club with two early touchdowns handing them a 14-0 lead after the first quarter.

But despite the Romans pushing their opponents deep into their own territory in search of points, the Steelers sucker-punched their hosts with another touchdown of their own.

A Romans drive forward was halted close to the Sandwell end zone with the turnover leading to some superb running before the touchdown gave the visitors a 20-0 lead.

The Steelers missed the point after touchdown (PAT) opportunity, meaning the score stayed the same for half-time.

When the sides last met – in Sandwell at the beginning of May – Chester found themselves 57-0 down at half-time before battling back valiantly in the second period to score 12 points of their own without reply.

There was no such comeback this time, though, as Sandwell continued where they left off by scoring another touchdown straight after the restart to give them a 27-0 lead.

That was extended to 35-0 when the Steelers got themselves another touchdown, with two PAT.

One more touchdown with another two PAT was to come to eventually hand Sandwell a resounding 43-0 victory, despite that being their third lowest score of the season so far.

Chester Romans now preparing to travel to Lancashire where they will face a Wolverines side who have not been in competitive action since their dramatic 22-21 win over Shropshire Revolution in mid-June.

Since Lancashire’s 20-14 defeat to Chester in May, the Wolverines have won four out of five of their fixtures – only losing out to Sandwell in a 59-6 reverse.

Their most recent game, a trip to basement-side Doncaster, was won without a ball being touched as Lancashire were handed an away walkover due to their hosts forfeiting the clash.