Chester Match Preview

Date: 06 January 2017

Tomorrow’s visitors are Chester and when the two sides met at Lightfoot Green last April the league positions of the two clubs were virtually the reverse of what they are currently.

Hoppers were safe but the visitors were involved in a relegation scramble with four other clubs. Chester had much the better of the first half , gaining a 4-try bonus point to lead 22-13 at the break and, although Hoppers dominated the second period, a Lewis Allen penalty was the only return and the final result of 22-16 saw the Cheshire side secure survival. Perhaps they will return the favour tomorrow.

In the game at Hare Lane in September, Hoppers never recovered from a poor start and the result was a comfortable home win by 31-5, so Hoppers will be keen to be out of the blocks quickly. Chester’s recent record is not too good having lost four of their last five league outings, albeit the other being a home draw with high-flying Sedgley Park.

This is Chester’s fourth season in the National Leagues and so far, despite some close results, they have 100% record against Hoppers, winning all seven league games to date and Hoppers will be keen to break the sequence today to start to climb to safety.

Before their promotion to the National Leagues, the two teams last met in competitive action during Hoppers short stay in North 1 back on the 5th February 2005 when a relatively comfortable away victory was achieved, completing the double that season for Hoppers. Since then a couple of pre-season ‘training’ fixtures have taken place, both at Chester’s ground with honours shared.

Competitive games between the two clubs go back almost fifty years when the inaugural game took place at our Lea ground on the 23rd of October 1965 where Hoppers won by a single point in a game of thirty three. Over all, there have been twenty-eight meetings between the two clubs with our opponents winning seventeen to eleven by ourselves.

There is evidence to suggest that there was a rugby club in Chester as early as 1880 but, after disbanding, Chester RUFC was formed in 1925 at the Chester YMCA. In 1932 the Club moved to rented facilities at Boughton Hall as tenants of the Cricket Club where they stayed for almost 30 years until the ground at Hare Lane, Vicars Cross was purchased and the Club moved there in 1961 and in 1994 a new clubhouse was built. The Chester club currently runs three senior sides, a veterans XV and colts sides at U.18 and U.17 as well as mini-juniors from U.6s to U.16s and, like Hoppers, also have a squash section.

Kick off is 2.15pm, let’s all get down and back the lads!    

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