After four weeks without any action Chesterfield Panthers RUFC were fired up ready to continue where they had left off and eager to strengthen their position at the top of the league.
On the day, conditions were near perfect with only a steady wind to effect play and the Panthers beat Worksop 8 - 32 in an away clash.
Panthers kicked off the first half but conceded a string of penalties early on that led to Worksop having a shot at goal that was fortunately missed. It was obvious to see Chesterfield had lacked game time due to a number of mistakes and poor work at the breakdown leaving players isolated and turning the ball over to Worksop.
A good break early on by Rob Collins down the wing with slick interchanging with Ben Bunting and a further line break through the centre by Chris Ward, amounted to nothing after conceding further penalties close to Worksop’s line.
Chesterfield finally broke the deadlock with a well taken try by Luke Holt after excellent work by the forwards scrummaging Worksop off their own ball to pick up and cross for Panthers’ first points. Conversion missed into the wind by Glenn Grayson.
This dominance early on at the scrum was to set the tone as the Chesterfield forwards continued to turn the ball over at the scrum repeatedly throughout the game. After an injury to fly-half Chris Ward forced a reshuffle in the back line Rob Collins slotted in to fly-half and quickly responded putting both Tye Rose and John Ryan into space down the wing that led to another try for Chesterfield on the opposite wing by Ben Bunting.
Worksop, to their credit, pounced on some poor defensive work by Panthers working the ball down the blind side to put their flanker in for a try. Conversion missed.
HT: Worksop - 5 Chesterfield - 10
After some stern words at half-time from Coach Derrick Sherlock, Chesterfield started to play the quality of rugby that has seen them win so many games this season.
Moving the ball quickly away from the breakdown allowed Chesterfield to punch the ball up using their forwards and then utilise the speed of the backs.
It was through good carries from Rob Davidson and Alex Allen in separate moves that pushed Worksop back, allowing a sniping move from Jordan Grayson to score close to a scrum.
Soon after the move of the match, involving Luke Holt, Nick Fenton and Rob Collins saw Panthers move 70 metres down the pitch for Rob Collins to score under the posts. Converted by Johnny Ryan.
After some confusion at a ruck in Panthers’ half, a penalty was then conceded which Worksop kicked over to bring the score to 8 - 22.
Chesterfield were well into their stride by this point and Worksop conceded a number of penalties that John Ryan kicked deep into Worksop territory giving a platform for the forwards to maul the ball over for another try scored by Luke Holt.
Once again, Chesterfield marched down the pitch and after a ball squirted out from a breakdown it fell very kindly for Terry Titley to score with his first touch of the ball.
At the resulting kick-off Andy Hughes took a blow to the neck and, after consulting the physio and the referee, it was decided that an ambulance was required and the player needed to
After discussing this with both captains it was agreed to call off the game with 12 minutes remaining.
With Captain Steve Avenier missing from the side this week, acting captain Chris Windle said: “After a scrappy start we produced some quality rugby that earned us a well-deserved 5 points to maintain our position at the top of the league. I was relieved to inform club captain Steven ‘Les Bleus’ Avenier, that we put together a much more clinical second half performance.”