Chard leave it late in end-to-end game of rugby

PUBLISHED: 14:57 07 September 2017

Chard 1st XV pictured before Saturday'’s league match against Truro.

Chard 1st XV pictured before Saturday'’s league match against Truro.

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Chard 1st XV 26 - 24 Truro.

This was always going to be an intriguing match following Chard’s relegation from South West 2 and Truro, who narrowly missed out on promotion last season, and so it proved to be going right down to the penultimate play of the match.

Chard started the match strongly with their forwards dominating the scrums against the much heavier and experienced Truro pack and eventually this was to be the main difference between the two sides.

Chard were first on the score sheet when a clean break by the Chard full back, Ben Stead, was finished in the corner by Harry Miller with Charlie Roberts adding the extras. Truro responded quickly with an unconverted try.

Chard were next on the score board when some quick work at the breakdown from the back row of Biss, Wright and Riley resulted in a penalty which Roberts slotted over from 35 metres out.

Truro fought back with a converted try against the run of play. Unfortunately for Chard, prop Luke Aplin had to leave the field due to what appears to be a recurrence of a serious knee injury; Aplin will be missed if the injury proves to be long term as his scrummaging was a real positive in the match.

The change in personnel did not weaken the Chard outfit, who continued to battle away at the Truro line resulting in an offside infringement which Roberts duly converted to make the score 13-12 in favour of Chard.

Shortly before the break, Truro snuck over in the corner for a converted try making the half time score 13 - 19.

Chard started the second half just as strongly as they had the first and were rewarded with an unconverted try from Benn Mainwaring; Chard were awarded a penalty kick ,which was kicked to touch on the Truro 22m line. From the resulting line-out a superb catch and drive caught the Truro defence napping and allowed the forwards to drive towards the try line at a rate of knots before a quick shift in the point of attack allowed Mainwaring to dive over the line.

The game then flowed from end to end with both defences holding firm with Matt Tinley and Ryan Hellier in particular putting in some strong tackles for Chard. In the 65th minute, Truro muscled over in the corner for their bonus point try.

However, Chard showed that they will work hard for each other this season; continued pressure during scrums and positivity at the breakdown resulted in several penalties for Chard allowing them to work the ball towards the Truro line.

With Chard’s scrum dominance so close to the line it was no surprise when Max Gosden went over from the back of a scrum for an unconverted try in the corner, a penalty try would have been more advantageous to the home side but the referee had already awarded the try. This made the score 23-24 to Truro.

With the ref poised to blow the final whistle, Truro conceded two penalties in quick succession and Charlie Roberts stepped up to slot the winning penalty from 45m out to the delight of the majority of the large crowd. Chard captain Ryan Hellier was delighted after the game and hopes that the victory is only just the beginning of a successful season.

Next week, Chard 1stXV travel to Burnham-on-Sea for what would be considered a local derby in this league.

Other results:

Wiveliscombe 2nd 0 - 55 Chard 2ndXV

This was a superb team display from the second team in what would usually be expected to be a close affair. Chard scored several tries and finished with a bonus point victory.

Next Saturday, Chard 2ndXV are at home against Castle Cary, 3pm kick off.

Portland Y.O v Chard Veterans

This was a highly entertaining match, unfortunately nobody was able to recall the final score but Portland won by one score.

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