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Hinckley entertain Chester at Leicester this coming Saturday in what will be this season’s last home game. Coming off the back of a disappointing performance against strugglers Wharfedale who inflicted the Hornets heaviest defeat of the season, Hinckley will be looking to make a statement against a team likely to finish in 6th place in the division.
In terms of League status, neither side have much to play for, but both will want to end the seasons with a flourish. Hornets currently stand in 5th place and mathematically could still overhaul Tynedale to take third place in the division should Tynedale have a meltdown and Hornets win their last 3 games. More realistically, Stourbridge, in fourth place six points ahead of Hinckley but with only two games to play, are the target. Chester are locked in a battle for sixth place
with Huddersfield who are five points ahead but with one less game to play.
Hornets are yet to defeat Chester since promotion to National 2, something that Chuter’s men will be aware of and anxious to rectify. Neither game last season was a great advert for the game. Hinckley allowed Chester to run in 2 tries in the last 10 minutes to take the spoils 27-16 at Hare Lane in the pre-Christmas game, and in the return fixture, Chester went over in the last 5 minutes to win a scrappy match 6-8. In their last encounter in December last year, Chester took the honours 12-8 at Hare Lane in a mud bath which perhaps should never have been played.
Conditions this time round should suit Hinckley. The weather forecast is set fair for the next few days which should mean that we can expect a relatively dry pitch on Saturday for the first time in a while. Chester are not a high scoring side, averaging just 20 points a game against Hinckley’s 28.4, and rely very much on a big heavy pack. If Hinckley can achieve at least parity in possession, then the hope is that the backs will be able show themselves to be the superior unit.
Chester’s fixture last week against South Leicester was called off which means that they will be well rested. As we have seen in recent weeks with some of the Hinckley performances, however, a break is not always advantageous. Hornets will be smarting after last weeks defeat at Wharfedale and with a point to prove. A return to the form we saw in defeating Stourbridge 26-0 in the last home game would be very welcome.
Weather wise, it looks like we can expect a very pleasant spring afternoon for the occasion with temperatures expected to be in the 20’s. A good crowd is anticipated (the pre-match lunch is again sold out) to cheer the lads on for the last time at home. A win would be a fitting end to what has proved a very successful second season in National 2, even if ultimately there is a slight feeling of disappointment at what might have been.