Holmes Chapel 78-0 Dukinfield 2nd

HOLMES Chapel secured a third successive promotion in style last Saturday, when they brushed aside a depleted Dukinfield.

It guarantees the men from Station Road will finish as runners-up at least in the North West Intermediate League’s Division Three South.

They trail leaders Widnes seconds by three points with one game left, away to Broughton Park thirds on Saturday week.

From the moment Dave Steer crashed over the whitewash from short range last weekend, a try converted by Andy Davies, they did not look back.

Dukinfield, who borrowed Joe Maddock after arriving with 14 players, battled hard before losing another man to injury.

Chapel were in no mood to show mercy, and Steer dotted down a second time to increase their lead.

More tries followed, including a brace for Ali Lightfoot, as they established a 35-0 by the break.

The visitors made their hosts work, and last-ditch tackles prevented an even wider margin of victory.

Andy Fyffe controlled proceedings at stand-off for Chapel, while Ollie Lawrence led their defensive effort and Joe Baskerville’s speed kept their opponents on alert.

The home team made the most of their numerical advantage, passing the ball wide at will to notch further scores from Jack Baskerville, Joe Faulkes and Jim Moss before the end.

A seventh league victory in their past eight attempts, coupled with a surprise 45-15 defeat for closest-rivals New Brighton seconds at Wilmslow thirds, proved decisive.

Holmes Chapel’s seconds enjoyed an afternoon off after their scheduled opponents Old Bedians thirds conceded.