Chester Gladiators returned to winning ways in emphatic style courtesy of a 58-10 victory against Bury Broncos in the RL Merit League sponsored by Kukri Sports.
The Gladiators, who fell to a 22-10 defeat to Northwich Stags last weekend, welcomed back Daniel Harvey and David Doneo whilst also handing a debut to 17-year-old forward Sam Philp. After a nervy opening 10 minutes Chester hit the front after 13 minutes through centre Adam Pierpoint and the returning Harvey extended the advantage with a try in the 25th minute.
Bury reduced the deficit with a try in the corner on the half hour mark but their joy was tempered almost immediately as Chester centre Rob Massam showed great pace and power to score after 34 minutes and he then added another try in 36th minute to put the Gladiators in control.
The home side continued to push forward in search of another try before the break but it was Bury who looked the more likely to score. A length of the field break on the stroke of half time looked certain to end in a score for the visitors but Gladiators prop Jim Green raced 50 metres to prevent a try, typifying the home sideâ€™s determination to keep the opposition out.
The Gladiators started the second half in blistering fashion, racing in four tries in just 12 minutes to build up a commanding lead. Sam Broadbent touched down less than a minute after the restart and was joined on the scoresheet by Pierpoint, who added a brace, and Massam. The visitors did pull a try back on 50 minutes but it was to prove a mere consolation.
Chesterâ€™s 17-year-old hooker Alec Read, who had a strong game, was forced from the field with injury following a spear tackle on the hour mark which left the referee with little choice but to send the offending player to the sinbin for 10 minutes.
The Gladiators extended their lead almost immediately through a second try from Broadbent, following some good work by David Doneo, and Rob Massam claimed his fourth try of the afternoon in the 70th minute. The scoring was completed in the final minute when pocket sized winger Dave Beddows raced over for a well deserved try.
The victory strengthens Chesterâ€™s position at the top of the table and they welcome fellow high fliers Mancunians RL to Hare Lane on Saturday for an intriguing encounter. Admission to the match, which will kick-off at 2.30 PM, is free and more information is available at www.chestergladiators.com.
Chester Gladiators: Simon Quinn, Dave Beddows, Rob Massam, Adam Pierpoint, Daniel Doneo, Daniel Harvey, Sam Broadbent, Rich Owen, Alec Read, Benji Marsh, Mike Davies, David Doneo, Martin Cormack (Captain) (Substitutes: Andy Vaughan, Adam Stanworth, Ant Hallam, Jim Green, Sam Philp, Stuart Davies, Dave Thomas)
Tries: Adam Pierpoint (13, 47 & 52), Daniel Harvey (25), Rob Massam (34, 36, 46 & 70), Sam Broadbent (41 & 60) & Dave Beddows (80)
Conversions: Daniel Harvey (7/11)
Chester 3-2-1: Rob Massam, Daniel Harvey & Adam Pierpoint