Sat 31
First Team
Crewe & Nantwich Steamers RLFC
D Williams (2), J Sproston (2), R Massam (2), S Quinn, A Owen
S Quinn (7)
Gladiators end season in style

Gladiators end season in style

By Jim Green
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Chester Gladiators ended their debut Rugby League Conference campaign in style with a convincing 46-6 victory over rivals Crewe & Nantwich Steamers.

Having missed out on a play-off spot, Chester knew that a win by 40 points or more would be enough to leapfrog Blackpool Sea Eagles into second place in the table and they were boosted by the return of a number of players including Simon Quinn, Russ Clarke, Steve Sandbach and Ash Owen.

The Gladiators started brightly and took an early lead when fullback Quinn collected a superb offload from Joe Sproston to mark his return to action with a try, which he successfully converted. Chester extended their lead with a try from Welsh winger Owen, who linked well with centre Damon Williams to round off a neat passing move in the right corner.

Sproston followed up his earlier assist with a try of his own on 28 minutes, rampaging through the Steamers defence before crashing over the whitewash for a fine solo try before player coach Dec Foy created an opening for Williams who stepped inside two defenders to give the Gladiators a commanding 24-0 lead at the interval.

Chester continued to dominate proceedings after the break and England Lionhearts centre Rob Massam continued his fine try scoring form with a trademark long range effort. Sproston followed up with another barraging run which resulted in his second try of the match before the visitors began to work their way back into the match.

Despite being well behind on the scoreboard, Crewe & Nantwich showed plenty of determination to create a couple of good try scoring opportunities but they were rebuffed by some dogged Gladiators defence. Chester responded with second try of the match for Massam, created by a neat shortside pass by Jim Green, and a further score for Williams out wide.

The Gladiators now had their sights set on keeping the visitors scoreless but their resistance was finally broken four minutes from time when Andy Hill spilled the ball on the visitors line and a quick break downfield saw the Steamers open their account.

A typically hard fought local derby saw both sides produce some aggressive defence and tempers eventually flared on the stroke of full time with players both sides becoming involved in a scuffle but the situation was quickly defused by referee Stephen Catterall.

The final whistle soon followed as Chester held on to win by the required margin to secure second place in the league. Fullback Simon Quinn was named as the Bartletts Solicitors Man of the Match for a near faultless display that saw him claim a try and kick seven conversions from eight attempts.

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Match details

Match date

Sat 31, Jul 2010




North West
Simon Quinn

Player of the match

Simon Quinn