Chester Gladiators Open Age team travelled across to Manchester for a Pre-Season friendly against Langworthy Reds. In the first run out for the team in over 400 days the team showed a lot of promise and started brightly despite a less than perfect pre-game routine brought on by the new restrictions that the coaching and management team need to review and improve ahead of the season starting.
On 8 minutes a bullet pass out to the wing found Peter Gloslie-Phillips how caught the ball at pace and scored his first try for the club in the corner, Andrew Bowles missed the conversion with a difficult effort from the edge. Teams traded the ball for the next 15 minutes or so with the Gladiators error count rising Langworthy scored a try and nudged in front. On 24 minutes a great crash line from Sam Hudson saw Gladiators regain the lead with Andrew Bowles slotting over the conversion.
Langworthy were next to score making the score 12-10 going into the closing stages of the half when Adam Kirby broke through the line from a nice draw pass from Half Back Mark Kingsley who followed the run with Adam drawing in the full back before passing back to his half back from him to score between the sticks unfortunately Andrew Bowles missed the easiest kick of the day so the half time score was 12-14 to Gladiators.
Turning up the hill in the second half saw the Gladiators team struggle to gain any momentum with the error count increasing with ball in hand this led to langworthy scoring 4 tries, some questionnable, taking the scoreline out to 30-14 in the hosts favour. A flash point on the 70 minutes sparked the Gladiators into life, bringing back the physicality in Defence and expressive attack shape, this led to a couple of tries being denied by the referee for knock ons or small infrigements that were contenious before Joe Hickey scored for Chester with Andrew Bowles adding the extras. Mike Walker chased through a lovely kick from Mark Kingsley to score in the final couple of minutes to set up the grandstand finish with Andrew Bowles converting, unfortunately the winning try couldnt be found and Langworthy held on to claim the win 30-26.
A lot of positives to take from the game overall and coach Nathan Ainsworth was pleased with the run out and earmarked some improvement areas as the team open their league campaign next week at home against Leigh East A.