Wednesday, January 8, 2014
North Petherton 2nd XV 29, Chard 2nd XV 7
One of the few games to survive the monsoon season, North Petherton have the best ground for soaking up the incessant rain we’ve all had to endure, writes Andrew Hopper.
The result implies a comfortable home win, but that was far from the reality, this was a tough, competitive game throughout with the score excessively flattering the hosts.
Chard started brightly attacking from the off and testing the home defence deep in their 22. A 15 minute period of pressure created three clear-cut scoring chances for Chard which unfortunately weren’t finished partly due to stoical defending by the hosts and partly due to a pass or two given too late. It was frustrating and galling as Chard were due some reward for their purpose and enterprise.
North Petherton, on the receiving end for the first quarter then got some momentum going and put pressure on Chard in their own half. Solid defending denied them, but they persisted in a period where they dominated territory and possession. Eventually the pressure told and they crossed the visitor’s line twice before half time, both tries were not converted to leave the home side leading 10-0 at the break.
Petherton were first out of the blocks in the second half, where much of the action took place in the Chard half of the field. Again Chard’s defensive effort and competitive spirit attracted plaudit, notable tackling from Billy Brookes and Chris Doel stood out, but every man did his bit!
The size and weight of the home pack was a significant advantage for them, with Chard having the smallest pack in the league. Despite the disadvantage, the Chard pack competed heroically and in the scrums were noticeably in the ascendancy a fact frequently commented upon by the home supporters. At length the bulk factor began to produce results for the hosts, using their weight and bulk to keep the ball tight and rumble over the Chard line from close range to seal the game.
The never say die spirit of the visitors continued to the end and they were eventually rewarded. Young fly half Sam Mouland dived over from close range following good field position earned by the pack.