Chesterfield Panthers 32 v Sleaford RFC 1st XV 8
With it being the first match since Christmas it was time to see if all the mince pies and turkey were still in the system.
With only 15 travelling it was going to be a struggle with no subs but the team were determined to get 2015 off to a winning start.
From the off Chesterfield dominated Sleaford with a strong forward line up and seemed to win every scrum, tackle and line out - which did result in three tries for the home side but Sleaford also managed to get a try of their own with a darting run from the 22 by Connor Holmes who avoided several tackles to score in the corner. Wayne Harley managed to add a penalty just before half time to make the score 15-8 in favour of the home side.
Sleaford did defend well despite the three conceded tries against a big side while Sleaford were missing some big guys from their team, but the second half reflected the lack of subs, playing into the wind and the physical nature of the home team as they scored two more converted tries and a penalty to make the full time score 32-8.
The score did not reflect the effort of the team and the last 30 minutes was played with 14 players due to a yellow card given to Sleaford captain Shaun Fisher and an injury. A tough day on the field for the red and blacks but the positives aspects to take back was some great defending.
Shaun Fisher commented afterwards: “Great effort to all the guys who travelled to Chesterfield, result did not reflect the effort. Some great performances and great defence despite some strange decisions from the ref (apologies for the yellow!).”
MAN OF THE MATCH: ROB TITMUS
Some positive news going forward is Sleaford have been given a home tie in the semi-final in the NLD Shield cup competition. This will be against West Bridgford on January 24.