Chester Gladiators Under 15's opened their campaign with an impressive display against demoted Shevington Sharks. Despite being short on squad numbers due to illness and changes to the fixture the 12 men of Chester put on a superb display of Rugby League to start the season with a bang.
An error from kick off saw Shevington start in the Chester 20 and immediately wanted to test the Chester defence but good sliding defence saw the Winger bundled into touch close to the flag by Liam Walker to keep the Sharks out of the Chester try zone. The turn over saw impressive drives from Taylor Thorp and Liam to get the Gladiators into Sharks territory before handing the ball back to the Wigan team.
A couple of sets were played out in the middle of the park by both teams resulting in a couple of handling errors and quick turn arounds before Shevington saw out a set and kicked high and deep into the Chester 20m testing fullback Matty Richards who caught the ball on the full and sped off to the edge of the pitch evading multiple defenders before running the rest of the pitch chased by defenders to open the scoring.
Chester got the ball from kick off and some stong drives on the 1st and 2nd tackle saw them in the middle of the park deep in Sharks territory the impressive Liam took a good drive to the left edge on the 3rd tackle allowing half backs Joe Wilcock and Alex Woodbury combine to get the ball back across the attacking line with Alex putting on a side step that Benji Marsh would have been proud off to score next to the posts and he added the extras to make the score 10-0.
Chester's defence was rock solid and Shevinton struggled to get into Chester's territory on any play with some solid tackling from all the Chester Players.
Another strong set saw Chester back on attack deep in the first half when Alex Woodbury took a good run off a scrum play before Liam again broke the line before passing out to Dan Tabberer who was stopped short of the try line, some quick passing down the line released Taylor Thorp who scored on the right side of the field with Alex adding the extras.
A heartbreaking moment for Shevington from the kick off as they kicked deep to Liam Walker who caught on the full on his 20m line before breaking through the closing defenders and ran away to score on the left edge making the score 20-0 to Chester who looked in total control of the game.
Chester attacked deep and Matty Richards moved to dummy half and sent a challenging bomb towards the Shevington line which was chased down by Dan Tabberer who won the contest for the ball with the full back and was able to score with Alex adding the extras to make the half time score 26-0.
Chester kicked off the second half and put pressure on the Shevington aatackers forcing a knock on and getting the scrum, They attacked the right edge at pace with Matty Richards releasing winger Carter Foster who was bundled into touch by the impressive Shevington Centre saving his team falling further behind. A scrappy period of play deep in the Shevington half saw both teams having the ball but unable to execute effectively. Chester got another scrum and worked towards the left edge with single man drives drawing the Shevington Defence across which was spotted by Joe Wilcock who switched the play to the right quickly and some good handling saw the ball in prop Dylan Yearsley hands who crashed over for another Chester try extending the lead to 32-0.
Shevington were next to score with a nice passing move out to their left exploiting the overlap they had in attack, it ws then time for some really scrappy rugby due to the tiring teams. Chester lost Dylan to a head clash and the 11 men ere tested for the last 15 minutes of the game, this saw Shevington play some more rugby in Chester territory but a deep line break saw Dan Tabberer have an open field in front of him and despite a solid recovering tackle from the Sharks full back Dan was able to ground the ball under the sticks giving Alex the easiest kick of the day bringing the score to 38-4.
Shevington Closed the scoring with a late crash over the line but Chester was able to hold out for the remainder of the game with solid defence and simple possesion rugby.
Opponents MOM went to Joe Wilcock who marshalled the game from half back perfectly with Matty Richards, Dan Tabberer, Liam Walsh and Alex Woodbury (5/7 kicks) all impressing on a day when the whole team put in a shift and worked tirelessly for one another.
Next weekend sees the team playing in the NWC Cup with an away draw at Dalton.