​Chester 37 Preston Grasshoppers 31

Preston Grasshoppers' spirited second-half comeback saw them salvage two crucial bonus points in a narrow away defeat.
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​Tries from Will Clapham, Scott Richardson and Ben Dorrington's double, along with a penalty try, aids Hoppers' battle to avoid relegation.

Chester scored the first points within two minutes when Ben Ivory collected Liam Reeeve's grubber kick to score in the right corner, and Reeve converted.

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Hoppers responded strongly, with Clapham going over to score after a lovely backs moving involving Jacob Browne, but Will Hunt failed to convert.

Action from Hoppers' defeat at Chester (photo: Mike Craig)Action from Hoppers' defeat at Chester (photo: Mike Craig)
Action from Hoppers' defeat at Chester (photo: Mike Craig)

Reeve showed his kicking prowess to add a penalty from near the halfway line to extend his team's lead.

The host's second score came in the 19th minute through Gethin Long's solo effort and Reeve was successful from the kicking tee.

Chester were relentless with Ivory in a try-scoring mood, making the most of some weak defending to score his second, and the Cheshire outfits third with Reeve converting.

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Dorrington reduced the deficit in the 28th minute, which Hunt converted.

But Chester had the last say of the first half with a well-worked team try, which saw Thomas Holloway step past Clapham to score, and Reeve converted.

George Baxter was sin-binned for the hosts in the second half for foul play when he dumped tackled Harry Moulding in an off-the-ball incident.

Scott Richardson started a Hoppers resurgence when he scored in the 62nd minute, but Hunt missed his rushed conversion attempt.

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Hunt began to dictate the game and set up Dorrington's second try and duly converted the kick.

Reeve added two more penalties to the total to widen the gap between the teams, with the visitor's ill-discipline costing them dear.

Browne's late break down the Chester left flank looked to be a definite score but was halted by an intervention from Holloway, which was deemed illegal by referee Neil Sweeney who awarded Hoppers a penalty try. Hoppers opened a 12-point gap on the relegation spots with the bonus points.