Chapel 2's put Ashton in their place.
Their opponents had beaten Chapel earlier in the season so the home side knew it wouldn’t be an easy match. Chapel welcome back Steve and Mark Hatton into the side at inside centre and tighthead prop, with Steve Oliver taking the captaincy as Cottam named himself among the replacements.
The match was due to be played at Station Road but the referee decided the pitch was unplayable due to the cold weather. Fortunately, the Leisure Centre pitch was still in good shape and the game went ahead.
The first half saw Chapel run up a healthy lead with the pack supplying plenty of ball from scrums and lineouts. The first try of the afternoon came when the Chapel scrum pushed their counterparts over the line, with Joe Maddock’s conversion making it 7-0. Later in the half, Ethan Gould chased a kick and put enough pressure on the full back to slice his clearance and then pounced on the loose ball to score. Things got even better for the home side when the forwards drove a maul forwards before the ball was passed out to Steve Hatton who beat the defence to score under the posts.
Maddock added the conversion for a 19-0 lead. Although Chapel were reduced to 14 men when David Flood was sin-binned, they remained on top until Ashton reduced the deficit from a scrum near the Chapel line when their Number 8 drove over for a converted try.
In the second half Chapel added two further scores to ensure they stay right in the promotion race. The first came from good work by the forwards leading to Mark Hatton being stopped just before the line. However, Neil Almond was on hand to scoop up the ball and score the try. Ashton kept fighting and refused to allow Chapel to run away with the game, but a final try came after some good hands in the backs created a chance for Maddock who converted his own try to seal the victory.
This Saturday, Chapel 2s take on Ashton under Lyne in the Raging Bull Plate. Cottam will be looking for the team to turn in another strong performance in front of Matchday sponsors Mincrete, 2:15 KO at The Leisure Centre.
The 1st XV will be hosting Chorley at Station Road with a 2:15 KO in the 2nd leg of their RFU National Plate game, with a 15-3 advantage going into the game hopes are high that the 1s will progress to the Quarter Final. This match will be sponsored by http://www.anglesey-selfcateri..
Holmes Chapel RUFC would like to thank Wymans Ltd and Hopewiser Ltd for their continued support.