Panthers run riot once more despite injury depleted squad

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Panthers, with an injury depleted pack and carrying no recognised second row, travelled south to league opposition Keyworth where they triumphed once again.

Panthers’ captain, Steve Avenier, was at full fitness returning from the bench to add three tries to Panthers’ tally.

The game kicked off amid severe winds, the conditions really not suiting either kickers or hookers.

Despite their league standings, Keyworth really came out fighting with their much bigger forward pack edging the breakdown, but Panthers were first to score with a fantastic break by centre Chris Ward leading to a one-on-one and the centre unselfishly putting fly half Carl Walker under the posts.

Chesterfield stepped up their game and shortly, after a few quick forward drives, the ball was released to the backs who skilfully put Tye Rose in for a try.

Keyworth responded well with good play of their own resulting in a penalty kick. Chesterfield knew they were in for a fight and stood up to the challenge well with Ben Bunting showing power and pace with an impressive finish in the corner.

With half time approaching, top scorer and make shift fly half Carl Walker used his pace to dive over after more good forward work.

The second half started much the same as the first, with the bigger Keyworth pack trying to stamp their authority on the inexperienced Panthers pack.

But, again, the visitors stood firm with Paul Jones and Jack Short putting in an outstanding performance.

After weathering the Keyworth storm Chesterfield’s fitness started to come in to play with the forwards really stepping it up, no time more evident than when Scott Widdowson leaped athletically to steal a Keyworth throw in, setting up a driving maul and putting the ball on a plate for Steve Avenier to dive over for the fifth try of the game.

A mistake straight from the restart gave Keyworth good position enabling them, through sheer effort, to score a try. Panthers now needed to get back on top and did so with another Steve Avenier try.

As the subs came on they really upped the pace of the game and none more than Jordan Grayson who, with his first touch of the ball, darted from scrum half and went 50 metres unopposed to finish the game. Special mention for Glen Grayson, who kicked six from seven conversions in appalling conditions.

Man of Match: Chris ‘Bjorn’ Ward.

Tries: Steven Avenier(2), Carl Walker (2), Jordan Grayson (1), Ben Bunting (1), Tye Rose (1).

Conversions: Glen Grayson (6).

Panthers: P Jones, R Davison, T Titley, J Walton, S Widdowson, J short, L Holt, T Rice, S Avenier (c), C Walker, N Fenton, C Ward, T Rose, B Bunting, G Grayson. Subs: J Grayson, C Brailsford, J Blair, M Coward.

Panthers are next in action on Saturday, December 28 against Long Eaton. Kick off 2.15pm.