Sunday, April 20, 2014
Thorbury 0, Chard 59
Chard clinched the league play off position with this comfortable win against mid table Thornbury, writes Glyn Hughes.
It appears certain that next Saturday Chard will have to travel to Towcester in Nothamptonshire to play against Towcestrians with the winners getting promoted to National Division 3 south west.
Chard won the toss and played up the slope at Thornbury in the first half but it soon became clear that Chard were the stronger side and winger Jack Pennington raced away for the opening try after five minutes play after he had been set up by a clever kick ahead from Charlie Roberts. Skipper Chris Doak who would enjoy a good afternoon with the boot added the extras. Chard lost lock forward Richard Mouland to injury very early on and he was replaced by the dependable Max Gosden.
Chard soon doubled their lead when full back Bryan Harrison linked well with Pennington who crossed for his second try again converted by Doak.Harrison was involved with the third try when he made space for the impressive Roberts to score an unconverted try.
Thornbury were only winning possession on an occasional basis but when they did have the ball they used it well and despite fielding a clearly depleted side they were keen to play attacking rugby.
On the half hour Roberts linked with prop Luke Aplin who in turn set up Ryan Helliar for a clear run to the line and with the bonus point secured Doak also added the conversion.
On the last play before the break Chard kicked a penalty to the corner and executed a perfect catch and drive move with Simon Jenkins getting try number five.
Half time Thornbury 0pts Chard 31pts.
The home side could easily have capitulated in the second half particularly as they had the slope as well as Chard to contend with. To their credit they did not and Chard would have to play some good rugby to break them down.
Pennington did go over for his third try with a quarter of the half gone before he was replaced by Ben Stead.
Stead then showed the large contingent of Chard supporters that he was still a real threat with the ball in hand and he linked superbly with centre Neil Douglas to race in for another converted try.
The home forwards were having a torrid time against the Chard pack and it was no real surprise when they got shoved back from a five meter scrummage with Jim Wagstaff getting the touchdown.
Chard also defended well and they managed to keep out all attempts by the home side to score.
Some quick thinking from Stead in his own 22 metre area set up the final try. Having marked the ball he took a quick tap and fed Harrison who raced 70metres to score Chards ninth try of the game .This was an excellent all round performance from Chard with again some of the unsung heroes such as Alan Henley, Jason Wright and Nick Hyslop all having fine games.
With this win the result of the final league game against Wadebridge will have no bearing on the final league positions and Chard can concentrate on the long trip to Towcester next Saturday.
Chard will be running a coach to the game and any one interested should keep an eye on the club website for further information although the coach will be leaving Chard by 9am at the latest.
Chard scorers Tries, Pennington 3, Wagstaff, Helliar. Harrison, Roberts,Jenkins Stead. Conversions Doak 7
Chard team: Harrison, Roberts, Douglas, Massey, Pennington, Doak, Helliar, Aplin, Jenkins, Hyslop Mouland, Henly, Parsons, Wright, Wagstaff. Replacements (all used) Stead, Gosden, Twigg