Chester 22 Wharfedale 15
A FRUSTRATING afternoon in the Cheshire sunshine saw Wharfedale slip to their 14th National League Two North away defeat of the season.
There was the consolation of a losing bonus point secured with the last kick of the game when Tom Barrett landed a 30-metre penalty, but it wasn’t their prime objective.
They wanted to lay their away bogey and they only have one more chance at rock-bottom Preston Grasshoppers on April 29, to do that.
Chester scoring when Freeman Payne broke clear from halfway to score under the post in just the second minute with Callum Bennett slotting the conversion.
Dale worked good field position with strong tackling to force a penalty. From the effective line-out the ball was quickly moved left and a well-timed pass from Barrett sent James Tincknell through. His final pass was taken by Jamie Guy who scored a try which Barrett converted to level the scores.
Both teams struggled to put effective phases together, but Wharfedale had the best chance following a break from Barrett.
George Hedgley carried the move on by battering his way forward. Quick ball was recycled wide left and Harry Bullough seemed to have scored a superb try. The only person who did not agree was the referee who ruled that the pass was forward.
Chester regained the lead when their No 8, David Ford, picked up from a scrum and ran at the defence before giving an inside ball to Chester winger James Preston.
Preston, who had cut in from the left wing, had the space and speed to run to the line. Bennett added the extras.
Dale gathered their own restart and then swept into Chester’s 22 but surrendered possession with the line in reach.
Wharfedale had another try disallowed at the start of the second half when the referee ruled that Guy had knocked on when grounding the ball.
Chester increased their lead when replacement second row Alex Reed bulldozed over from the 22.
Facing a 12-point deficit, the Greens fought back. Good work from forwards and backs, especially stand-in scrum half Tom Davidson, gave Josh Burridge room to crash over for an unconverted try.
From the restart Hedgley made yards carrying the ball and it seemed Dale were making progress until another mistake led to Chester securing possession.
Thirteen phases later they were awarded a penalty in front of Dale’s posts. The bonus point seemed lost as Bennett landed the shot.
But Wharfedale weren’t finished. They worked their way into the Chester 22 and forced the penalty which Barrett converted to earn a bonus for his side.
Wharfedale Harry Bullough, James Tincknell, Tom Davidson, Jamie Guy, Josh Prell (Ian Larkin 27, Toms Asejevs 60); Tom Barrett, Sam Gaudie (Ben Parkinson 68); Joe Altham, Dan Stockdale (Jordon Poole 60), Toms Asejevs (Adam Howard 55), Adam Howard (Simon Borrill 37), George Hedgley, Rob Baldwin (c) (Chris Swainson 62), Lewis Wilson, Josh Burridge.