TYNEDALE ended their season with something of a whimper on Saturday, going down to their third consecutive defeat, yet again by the tiniest of margins.

They went down to Chester by a single point, following losses at Stourbridge by 35-34, and at home to Wharfedale by 24-22.

But the two bonus points they gained at Chester proved enough to secure third place in National League Division Two North, after a season full of exciting running, nail-biting finishes and satisfying wins over the two sides that finished above them in the league.

Sale are promoted as champions, and Sedgley Park will face Division Two South runners-up Chinnor in a play-off for promotion to National League One.

Sadly, nearest neighbours Blaydon now have only a mathematical chance of avoiding a second successive relegation, along with Luctonians and Sheffield.

Tynedale were due to travel to Sheffield on Saturday for a twice postponed fixture, but as the game would not effect on either team’s season, it has been cancelled by mutual consent.

So Saturday’s trip to Chester was the season ender, and it turned out to be a feast of tries, both sides crossing the whitewash five times.

It was first blood to Chester, who ran Tynedale’s kick off back at them, and forced their way over after four minutes, winger Matthew van Sertima claiming the touchdown.

Tynedale hit straight back, number eight Scott Powell claiming the restart, and handing on to a rampant Ben Bell, who stormed in under the posts, Ash Smith making it 7-5 from the tee.

Chester continued to apply pressure and from a penalty line-out, a powerful catch and drive saw hooker Alick Croft score another unconverted try.

Chester went in 10-7 ahead at the break, and extended their lead eight minutes into the second half through winger Craig Ross following a line out, fly half James Robins converting,

Again Tynedale came back outside centre James Clark running in for an unconverted try for 17-12, but an interception deep inside the Chester 22 saw full back Andrew Oakden run the length of the field to score under the posts, Robins’ conversion taking it to 24-12,

It looked like game over when more good handling by the Chester side saw scrum half Thomas Holloway grab their fifth try, converted by Robins, to take the score to an imposing 31-12, with 13 minutes left.

But Tynedale never know when they are beaten, and back they came with a try from flanker Nick Cairns, converted by Smith, for 31-19.

Robins landed a penalty to steady Chester nerves, but Tynedale had the bit between their teeth and two converted tries in the last five minutes via Clark - his second - and Oli Walker had Chester nerves jangling.

However, they managed to keep Tynedale at bay to bring to an end a most enjoyable season.