Holmes Chapel 22 Bowdon 2nd 24

HOLMES Chapel ceded top spot in the table last weekend after their rivals for promotion kicked a penalty with time running out to claim victory.

It is a blow for the men from Station Road, who have lost back-to-back matches for the first time this season in the North West Intermediate League’s Division Two South.

They had to come from behind on home turf after a maul from the visitors took them over the line for an opening try.

Chapel responded, forcing a mistake by their opponents who left the ball on the ground for Harry Dyson to collect and dot down.

Andy Davies kicked a conversion.

The hosts then moved in front when Luke Cheetham exploited space out wide to go over before the break.

Substitutions at the start of the second-half gave Chapel fresh impetus and they added to their tally when Tom Chambers broke through attempted tackles in midfield before racing to the line.

A converted score from Bowdon kept them in contention at 17-14 and they edged ahead with 10 minutes left when they claimed another one.

Chapel, beaten 12-0 at Helsby last time out, did not relent though and Cheetham made it over the line after receiving an off-load from Conor Gavin.

However a 22-21 lead felt flimsy, and so it proved when their opponents landed a penalty that settled the outcome.

Chester thirds’ win over Helsby propels them to the table’s summit, one point clear of Chapel with four games left.