Holmes Chapel 26-14 Didsbury Toc-H 2nd

HOLMES Chapel reached the end of 2017 occupying a promotion position after overpowering capable opponents.

They had twice the reason to be cheerful too after a meeting with Didsbury Toc-H last Saturday was designated as a double-header – meaning they collect 10 points as a reward for a fifth successive win.

It was not straightforward though.

Chapel started slowly, although Conor Gavin’s charge to the line after quarter of an hour ended with him touching down between the posts.

Andy Davies added a conversion.

Sparked into life, the home team added to their tally when Will Mitchell off-loaded to flanker David Steer who notched a second try.

Davies remained reliable, and the men from Chapel Road led 14-0.

However they let down their guard and the visitors took advantage to score two tries, both converted, of their own before the break.

Chapel took the lead again early in the second half when Davies supplied a pass for Jim Hamilton, who bowled through Didsbury’s defence – supported by captain Dom Moss – to score.

Davies kicked the extras too.

Chapel then had to resist pressure from their guests, and only a try-saving turnover on his own line by Joe Foulkes prevented the away side from breaking through.

Able to counter, Luke Blagbrough’s forward surge ended with a penalty-award.

The hosts kicked to the corner, and from the lineout formed a maul that powered to the line before Steer dotted down.

It leaves his side second in North West Intermediate League Division Two South at Christmas.

A trip to old foes Widnes seconds awaits on their return to action next month.