Chesterfield 1st XV 22 Pts V East Retford 1st XV 38 Pts
Another road trip but this time only as far as Chesterfield a team that out played them at home last season and a team that could have caused an upset to the Retford’s victory bus.
However after a brilliant start Retford met with some resilience as the home side got back on terms only for Retford to blast their way clear for another bonus point win.
Chesterfield were on the attack down the slope before Retford turned the ball over and positive running by captain Dan Preece and Ryan Mellins at centre saw the ball moved out to the wing of Josh Freeman who timed his pass perfectly inside to Josh Nicklin to open the scoring with a well worked try, converted by Preece only minutes in.
The home side had other thoughts and were straight back down the park and but for some frantic defence and some missed tackles Retford gave up a penalty for Chesterfields first score. Retford composed took the ball on and Ed Bailey-Hobbs was held up before moving the ball out for Nicklin who crashed over for his second converted try.
Retford were getting confident but had the ball robbed from them on at least two occasions and both times the home sides winger made good ground putting pressure on the Retford defence. Having given up penalty after penalty Retford’s defence eventually buckled and Chesterfield claimed a converted try of their own closing to within four points.
Mick Sykes at fullback received a yellow card for a team penalty count which put more pressure on the defence giving up another penalty which was pushed wide before Retford got back on the attack. Great team play from all saw the ball into opposition territory before Simon Phillips gave a timely pass to Ryan Mellins who crashed over for a third converted try and a halftime lead of twenty one points to ten.
Retford continued their good form from the start of the second half as the ball went down the back line for Mikey Phillips to run clear and score adding a try before Retford hit some bad luck with the loss of Palmer to red card cutting the side to just fourteen players with thirty minutes still to go. An injury to a Chesterfield player meant that the sides had to move pitches whilst he was treated and this along with a man down put Retford under the cosh.
Chesterfield upped their game and with some great strong running in the backs saw them score two tries closing the gap to just four points and going close with a penalty which would have got them within touching distance before a great clearance by Freeman saw the game swing back in Retford’s favour. From the clearance Jordan Mee stole the home side’s lineout before the ball went to ground and Mikey Phillips chipped ahead and dribbled the ball over the line for a try, converted by Preece.
To finish the day off as Retford had been foiled on a couple of occasions the ball was nicely passed out to the right wing where JJ Freeman out paced his man to score in the corner to bring up the winning total. Man of the Match awarded by Chesterfield went to Dave Howard for an outstanding performance from second row a great game in both attack and defence.