Hope Valley keep home record intact

Hope Valley first XV v Chester thirds (dark blue)

Hope Valley first XV v Chester thirds (dark blue)

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University of Salford Division 3 South: Hope Valley 1st XV 26, Chester 3rd XV 12

HOPE Valley maintained their unbeaten home record in a hard-fought match at Castleton.

Good forward pressure early-on threatened the Chester line, with Wain gaining ground, but the visitors’ defence held firm and managed to clear the ball.

Hope Valley first XV v Chester thirds (dark blue)

Hope Valley first XV v Chester thirds (dark blue)

A yellow card for Woodhouse saw Valley temporarily reduced to 14 men, but despite the disadvantage the Valley forwards took control following a line-out steal by Turner, and Wain and man of the match Orton created a platform for McGuigan to kick a drop goal.

Chester conceded a penalty for McGuigan to score again. Woodhouse, returning to the pitch, then made good ground and, with Chester again penalised, McGuigan punished them to make it 9-0.

The visitors got into their stride, making inroads into Hope territory despite good tackling from Woodall. Another Chester penalty saw the visitors work the ball down the back line to score their first try.

Valley hit back through good running from Rawson, with McGuigan supporting to jink past the defence and score, converting his own try to make it 16-5 at half time.

Hope Valley first XV v Chester thirds (dark blue)

Hope Valley first XV v Chester thirds (dark blue)

Chester pressurised from the restart, but Hope’s defence remained solid. Some great work in the ruck saw a penalty being awarded to relieve the threat.

The game was evenly balanced, with both defences working well. Hodgson gained ground close to Chester’s line, and Valley piled on the pressure and were awarded a penalty, with Moseley charging over to score, McGuigan again converting.

Hope continued to attack, with good running from forwards and backs linking up well. Ryder made good ground and tackled strongly, but Chester held them at bay. McGuigan managed to add another penalty to his tally, but Chester had the last laugh with a try out wide.

Hope Valley first XV v Chester thirds (dark blue)

Hope Valley first XV v Chester thirds (dark blue)