Chard keep South West Division One Play-Off hopes alive with Cleve success
22:14 30 March 2014
Chard 38, Cleve 6
Chard kept up their hopes of pushing for a play off position with an emphatic win against third placed Cleve, writes Glyn Hughes.
Chard scored six tries in a stunning display of rugby which thrilled their supporters but know that they must keep this run going and win all their remaining games if they are to challenge for the top two positions.
In the opening moments of the game Cleve made a lovely break down the left and looked certain to score but a superb last ditch tackle from Charlie Roberts saved the day.
As they have done in most games this season the Chard forwards were soon dominating the exchanges and after five minutes Cleve were driven back relentlessly from a five metre scrummage and number eight Jim Wagstaff went over for an unconverted try.
Skipper Chris Doak had an opportunity to increase the laed with a penalty attempt but his kicked drifted wide of the uprights.
Another penalty a few minutes later was kicked to the corner and from the ensuing lineout Chard were unstoppable and Ryan Helliar who had come back into the side in place of Paul Nicholls at scrum half got the touch down which Doak converted.
Minutes later an excellent planned move paid dividends when winger Jack Pennington came in side at pace and scored in the corner. Doak again added the conversion points and with only a quarter of the game gone Chard were already nineteen points to the good.
Chard were then sloppy from the restart and immediately gave away a penalty which was kicked by George Perry. Within a minute the same thing happened and Perry was able to pull back another three points.
On the half hour Chard had full back Bryan Harrison sent to the bin but despite being a man down for ten minutes Chard continued to dominate proceedings and indeed shortly before half time blew a golden opportunity to get a fourth try. H/T Chard 19pts Cleve 6pts
Early in the 2nd half Harrison now back on the field made a good break from his own 22m line and after some slick passing Helliar went over for the bonus point try which Doak converted.
A few minutes later the game was effectively over as a contest when Harrison and Pennington linked up well before sending Wagstaff in under the posts for try number five which was again goaled by Doak.
Neil Douglas who has often struggled to find his true form this season then made a characteristic break and went over for a super try which went unconverted.
To beat a club of Cleve’s standing by six tries to nil was a great achievement but in all honesty Chard could well have had several more scores had it not been for several forward passes.
Chard travel to play Clevedon next Saturday knowing that a win is a must if they are to maintain their push up the league. Clevedon put in a very good performance against St Austell last weekend in Cornwall and it will certainly be a tough game. Kick off is 3pm
Chard: Harrison, Roberts, Douglas, Massey, Pennington, Doak, Helliar, Wagstaff, Parsons, Wright, Mouland , Henley, Hyslop, Jenkins, Aplin Relacements:- Robinson, Gosden, Massey(all used)