Lancaster Vs Chester 17th May 2003
The view from Lancaster
An appreciative crowd turned out on a wet saturday lunchtime for the return of rugby league to Giant Axe, though visitors and former Conference champions Chester Wolves spoiled the historic occasion for the new Lancaster club.
The game started well for Chester with a try down the right wing from centre Paul Curphey, his first of a hat-trick in the first half as the Wolves built up an early 14-point lead. Lancaster then began to look much more on form as captain Rob Shaw touched down the first points for the club behind the posts. Converted by Andy Garnett, the score now looked more promising for Lancaster at 14-6 to Chester, although the Wolves increased the margin before half time with a try by Stephen Curphey.
The second half saw a Lancaster team performing to the best of their abilities backed by an encouraging crowd of over 200 supporters. A brace of tries from Andy Garnett, and great support on the field from Liam Hall and Greg Sykes, ensured that Lancaster never gave up in a performance to be proud of. Further tries from Dave McVernon and, recent signing and Ireland international, Darren Clarke meant that by the final whistle Lancaster had managed to outscore Chester by ten points in the second half, but unfortunately it wasn't enough as Chester took the two points with a 38-28 victory on a memorable occasion for rugby league in the district.