Chesterfield Panthers’ development squad made the short journey up the M1 on Valentine’s Day to play Dinnington’s third string and came away with a morale boosting victory that broke the home side’s hearts.
James Marshall put in a man of the match performance in a 27-23 victory for a Chesterfield side who will have learned a lot against a tough Dinnington outfit who remained within touching distance until the final whistle. Panthers started brightly with Tom Arnold getting the better of his opposite number and a quick interchange of passes allowed Lee Laughton to hand off the tackle and power over the line to score the first try of the game. It was a case of when not if the visitors would score again and Ian Watson was to be the man to do so in a similar passage of play to the first. Chesterfield’s heads were high and Dinnington started to ring the changes.
Possession swung from side to side but, when Panthers got the ball out wide to Josh Harding, he raced clear to score. Dinnington responded with two quick tries from bulldozing runs from their prop who shortly went off injured.
Chesterfield had switched off and Dinnington went in to the half-time break two points ahead at 17-15. Tackles began to fly in after the interval and the referee had finally seen enough when he cautioned Dinnington’s captain.
Panthers took a quick penalty and shipped it out wide and, after two phases of drives, set up Paddy Doyle to score from close range. Dinnington replied but Doyle got the final points of the game.