Chard defeat St Austell
12:11 16 March 2014
Chard 34, St Austell 24
Chard dented the leaders promotion push with a thoroughly deserved win in a pulsating game and probably played as well as they have at any time in the season, writes Glyn Hughes.
Paul Nicholls returned at scrum half for Chard in what was only his second game of the season.
Chard took an early lead when skipper Chris Doak successfully slotted over a penalty goal.
The opening quarter was a balanced affair with both sides giving their all. Chard had a definite edge in the forwards however and after a terrific forward by the pack Alan Henley went over for Chards first try.
Doak added the touchline conversion. The visitors were always in the game and Miles Davey went over for their first try after 18minutes. Full back Dan Pearce added the extras.
In a game between two very useful sides Chard just about had the edge and went further ahead when full back Bryan Harrison broke through and scored in the corner. Doak again converted. With half an hour gone St Austell lost the ball at the base of the scrum and Chard sent the ball out wide where Neil Douglas made the most of things and went over for try number three. Doak had no problem with the conversion.
Pearce pulled back three points with a penalty but shortly before the interval Chard increased their lead when after lots of great work by the pack the referee awarded Chard a penalty try which with the conversion gave Chard a 29-10 half time lead.
Chard missed a kick to touch in the opening minute of the second half and were made to pay when the dangerous Pearce counter attacked superbly and scored a tremendous try which he converted himself to put St Austell right back in the mix.
The home forwards were dominating possession so well however that the visiting backs saw little of the ball and even when Chard were reduced to 14 when Simon Jenkins was sent to the bin they still controlled things.
Doak put his side three scores ahead with another penalty and although in the third minute of injury time St Austell got a late try from flanker Ian Venner which was converted by Pearce Chard were worthy winners and gave a disciplined performance throughout.