Chesterfield Panthers finish season on a high

Chesterfield Panthers v Keyworth Chesterfield keep moving as the ball is passed onto a free teammate Photo By James Williamson
Chesterfield Panthers v Keyworth Chesterfield keep moving as the ball is passed onto a free teammate Photo By James Williamson

Panthers were determined to finish a long and draining league campaign in style and achieved just that with a 50-17 success at Leesbrook.

The Midlands Division Four East (North) champions were professional right to the end as the curtain came down on their 2013/14 league season.

Victory means the Dunston Road based outfit go into the RFU Cup semi-final against Buxton on Wednesday (April 16) evening full of confidence.

It was a bright start for Chesterfield with only stout defence from a resolute Leesbrook back line stopping Nick Fenton running in.

Pressure was exerted on the Leesbrook line and they finally cracked. Luke Holt taking advantage with a superb carry, crashing over from ten yards.

Panthers now tried to settle into the game but with the players not used to playing on such a small pitch they needed to adapt.

A penalty kick to touch resulted in a superb line out taken by Alex Allen and a well-structured drive ended in Paul Jones going over.

Leesbrook weren’t going to roll over and they responded when the home side’s centre crashed through two defenders to score under the posts.

A scrappy period ensued before Jack Short and Glenn Grayson went over for Panthers before the half-time interval and Holt getting his second.

Grayson demonstrated good footwork to take him past defenders to run 40 metres for is second of the game in sixth in his last two.

Half-time substitute Steve Avenier went over for the bonus points before strong running from Rob Collins completed the scoring.

Match day captain and man of the match Chris Windle said: “This was by no means our best performance, but it’s a sign of a decent team that cannot be on top form and still score 50 points.

“But we won’t get complacent. We’ll go away and work hard and improve because next season we won’t get away with a below par performance.”

Head Coach Derek Sherlock said: “It was always going to be a difficult game the week after winning the championship and we will need to be more switched on for our semi-final game against Buxton this Wednesday at home.

“We are hoping for a big home crowd to come support us on Wednesday so we can win and meet Amber Valley in the final.”

Panthers’ semi final with Buxton kicks off at 7.30pm at Dunston Road, Chesterfield. The final is scheduled for May 5.

Panthers: Paul Jones, Rob Davison, Terry Titley, Alex Allen, Pat Holleworth, Jack Short, Chris Windle, Luke Holt, Jordan Grayson, Rob Collins, Nick Fenton , John Ryan, Glenn Grayson, Benjamin Button, Chris Ward. Subs: Steven Avenier, Tye Rose, Lee Whitmore

Tries: Glenn Grayson (2), Luke Holt (2) Paul Jones (1), Rob Collins (1), Jack Short (1), Steven Avenier (1).

Conversions: Chris Ward (5).

Man of the Match: Chris Windle.