National League 2 North:
DUDLEY KINGSWINFORD 5 CHESTER 36
Dudley Kingswinford: Ben Brown; Liam Marshall; Gareth Bown; Tom Scrivens; Donovan Smile; Kieran Pinches; Connah Jones; Matt Humphreys; Luke Greenwood; Dan Shakespeare; Ed Parry; Nick Murphy; Pete Knight; Sam Pedley; Danny Hawkins; Replacements: Josh Morrisey; Joel Barrett; James Jefferson; Ryan Smitheman; Josh Brown.
If matches were won on effort and commitment then DK surely were worthy of a major shock on Saturday and would have recorded their first win of the season at Heathbrook on Saturday. For almost an hour they dominated possession and territory but could only muster one try for all their efforts against a physically strong and defensively sound Chester team.
That was not to say that Chester did not create many opportunities themselves, but a combination of dogged DK defence; selfishness on their part, and dropped ball, ensured the scoreline was always within touch for DK until the final quarter.
DK welcomed back front rowers Dan Shakespeare and Matt Humphreys to the side and although against a bigger pack, DK managed to control their set piece well and through Pete Knight managed to turn over a large amount of Chester possession that was not always well used when the occasions arose with increasing regularity.
The tactic of attacking at every opportunity always shows spirit and enterprise, but when things go wrong leave the team vulnerable to the quick counter attack. Playing into a strong wind in the first half the signs looked ominous again for the home side, conceding two tries in the opening ten minutes through wing Andrew Oakden and centre Richard Varkulis, converted by his fellow centre Rhys Hayes.
However this DK side do not know when to lie down, and immediately took the game to the visitors where they spent most of the remainder of the half, and following some good driving play by the forwards had only a fine opportunist try from scrum half Connah Jones for all their toil and efforts. To add to their woes they also lost talismanic second row Nick Murphy to what appears to be a serious knee injury.
The second half continued where they left off in the first with DK on the offensive, but after fifteen minutes, in a rare foray into the DK half, Chester broke away and scored their third try of the game by replacement winger Ross White, converted by Hayes.
Lesser teams would have folded at this stage but credit to DK who continued to attack at every opportunity, which were decreasing in frequency as the toll of both their attacking and defensive duties began to show in some tired and weary legs.
In the final ten minutes Chester ran in three further tries by replacements Michael Craven and Thomas Evans, as well as fly half William Nelson Hayes converting the last try bring the game to an end, and more disappointment for the lads. They gave their all, but it was not to be their day.
Last week I made an appeal to DK members and supporters. I would like to thank those of you who made the effort and turned out at Heathbrook on Saturday support the lads. Your attendance is very much appreciated.
So yet again I make an appeal to you all to forsake next Saturday's Christmas shopping – you know you don't like it and that Merry Hill and Birmingham will be rammed. Instead get the family friends and other DK supporters together and make the short journey to Stourbridge where the first of this season's reverse fixtures begin with a kick off at 3:00 pm.
Get behind the boys in what is sure to be another tough test, but where your support will go a long way to lifting their spirits.