Playing their first game in National 2 North, The Greens fielded the bulk of last season’s squad but had Ollie Cole, Grant Elliot and Paul Cook making their first appearance in the senior side. Adam Middleton and Will Robinson renewed acquaintance after a few seasons away from Heslam park.
The game started and continued in monsoon conditions which restricted both teams in their ability to move the ball about. The Greens had an opportunity after 4 minutes with a penalty from halfway but missed in the poor conditions. Chester soon adopted a pragmatic approach and kept the ball tight, driving through their pack whilst Scunthorpe retained their ambition and moved the ball through the hands. This paid dividends when after 11 minutes the ball was moved left and with Colin Chapman making the extra man, Will Robinson finished in the left corner. Steve Johnson missed a difficult conversion attempt but the home boys were first on the scoreboard.
Johnson missed another penalty after 25 minutes but The Greens continued to press and with the pack driving forward from a lineout 5 metres out, James Dyson peeled off to touch down in the corner. Johnson this time managed a good clean strike from the corner for an excellent conversion. This put the home side in a strong position at 12 points to nil up after 29 minutes.
Chester came back with some powerful driving play and gained a penalty after 34 minutes in the home ‘22’. Callum Bennett stepped up to put his side back in the game and gave them some momentum. Four minutes later Bennett had another opportunity but missed to the right of the posts and thus the score remained until the half-time whistle.
Both teams left the field as the rain continued to pour down.
The second period presented much the same difficulties as the first and Chester were first to drive down in to the home half and succeeded in gaining a penalty after 6 minutes of the second period. Bennett converted to bring the scores to12 points to 6 in favour of the home team. The Greens went down the pitch and produced some exciting rugby but were unable to cross the visitors line. The only reward being a Johnson penalty after 18 minutes to the lead to 15 points to 6.
The home boys continued to enjoy most of the possession and territory but were unable to convert this into points. Chester, having survived the home pressure, managed to come back in the last few minutes and score their first try of the game. This reduced the deficit to 15 points to 11 but an accurate conversion by Bennett put his team only two points down. High drama continued into injury time as the home boys not only failed to get the ball off the pitch but compounded the situation by conceding a penalty which gave Bennett an opportunity to win the game with the last kick of the game . Fortunately for the home side the kick failed and justice was done.
Match Report by LWJClayton