Chard see off Bideford in thrilling match

16:28 25 February 2014

Chard 34, Bideford 23

Chard were worthy winners in an absorbing contest, writes Glyn Hughes.

Chard had an early opportunity to take the lead when they were awarded an easy penalty attempt but they opted to go for a try which unfortunately came to nothing. In fact it was Bideford who opened the scoring when their flyhalf Ollie Wickett succeeded with a penalty goal after eight minutes.

Within minutes Bideford increased their lead when Wicketts ran from deep before chipping a lovely kick ahead which was gathered by winger Sam Olde who showed Chard a clean pair of heels to race away for a great try. Not for the first time this season Chard were caught out by a counter attack which is becoming somewhat of an Achilles heel for them.

Chard gave away a number of penalties in the first quarter and were getting frustrated, but gradually the Chard forwards, arguably the most formidable unit in the league, took control, and they got right back in it with a classic catch and drive from a lineout with Jim Wagstaff getting the touchdown for an unconverted try.

Within a short time Chard were in front when centre Jack Pennington made a good break before off loading to Wagstaff for try number two. Bideford then shot themselves in the foot when they had a player sin binned and Chard took full advantage to get their third try shortly before the break when that man Wagstaff went over for his and the team’s third try.

Chard had a very poor start to the second half when they tested the crowds patience with some suicidal rugby deep in their own half. Kicks got charged down, passes went astray and they were fortunate that Bideford only reduced the arrears with another penalty from Wicketts.

Chard then got back into attacking mode and increased their lead when initially Neil Douglas and then lock forward Richard Mouland crossed for tries with one of them being converted by skipper Chris Doak.

Chard were now seemingly out of sight of their visitors but once again Bideford caught them out on the counterattack and it was Olde who again raced through to score his second try which Wicketts converted to make then score 27 -18. Sheer pace is such an asset in rugby.

Both sides played some super rugby in the final quarter and some swift thinking in the backs set up Pennington for an easy try which was converted by Doak.

Chard had a player binned in the final minutes and this allowed Bideford to get the final score of the match when back row forward Matt Dennis crossed for an unconverted try.

A good bonus point win for Chard against a more than useful Bideford side who on this form should comfortably avoid ending the season in one of the three relegation places.

Chard: Douglas,Harrison,Lee Massey, Pennington, Joe Massey, Doak(capt) Helliar, Wagstaff. Riley, Parsons, Henly, Mouland, Aplin, Jenkins, Hyslop. Replacements;- Robinson, Johnson, Roberts(all used)

This weekend Chard have a very attractive local derby away against Bridgwater and Albion (2.30pm).

Chard narrowly won the reverse fixture earlier in the season and will be really up for this contest as they are looking to win at Bridgwater for the first time in their history. Bridgwater are currently below Chard in the table, but their recent form has been much improved and there is no doubt this will be a very tough game for Chard.

Chards young back row forward Gabe Riley has been selected in a squad of 22 for the England Colleges team who have games against Ireland and Wales in March.

On Saturday Chard 2nds and 3rds have home league fixtures against Yatton 2nds and North Petherton 3rds respectively. Both games kicking off at 2.30pm.


Other Sport Stories

Yesterday, 14:35
Image licensed to Lloyd Images 
The Extreme Sailing Series 2015 Act 7. Istanbul. Turkey. Oman Air Team skippered by Stevie Morrison (GBR) with crew Nic Asher (GBR), Ed Powys (GBR), Ted Hackney (AUS) and bowman Ali Al Balushi  (OMA)

Exmouth sailor Stevie Morrison, skipper of Extreme 40 team Oman Air, sailed on to the podium at Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 7, Istanbul presented by Yandex.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:34

Bicton College is celebrating sporting success, with a number of their students enrolled on the AASE (Achieving Academic and Sporting Excellence) Apprenticeship Scheme embarking on professional careers. The scheme is run by the Exeter Chiefs Rugby Academy in partnership with Bicton College.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:09
The Peak Hill Challenge and what the cyclists will see on their way to the top!

Sid Valley Cycling Club is preparing for the latest running of their annual Peak Hill Climb, staged in memory of Rodney Pyne.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:23

Offwell Rangers bagged their first win of the season with an excellent single goal success at Wellington.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:09

Beer Reserves were left to make a 100-mile round trip to Winkleigh with yet another new combination of players with injuries and unavailability’s preventing the team fielding their best 11 players.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:08
Boy playing football

Honiton Under-13s staged a superb comeback from a three goal deficit to defeat City Raiders Galaxy 6-4 for an Exeter and District League encounter.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:07

For no obvious reason the September stableford proved a relatively low scoring affair, writes Richard Jackman.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:07
Golf generic picture

The rescheduled ladies versus men encounter for the Wooden Spoon was played at Honiton on the final weekend of the month, writes Liz Rogers.

Read more
Tue, 14:22
20151004 Copyright onEdition 2015©
Free for editorial use image, please credit: onEdition

Withycombe RFC U12's team at The Land Rover Premiership U11's Rugby Cup, Exeter - Land Rover is a proud supporter of grassroots rugby and a partner of the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup for nearly a decade. Land Roverâ We Deal In Realâ campaign aims to champion grassroots rugby on the global stage during Rugby World Cup 2015. Follow @Land RoverRugby #WeDealInReal

For press contacts, contact: Michael White at Fast Track on E: or T: +44 (0)20 7593 5200

If you require a higher resolution image or you have any other onEdition photographic enquiries, please contact onEdition on 0845 900 2 900 or email
This image is copyright onEdition 2015©.
This image has been supplied by onEdition and must be credited onEdition. The author is asserting his full Moral rights in relation to the publication of this image. Rights for onward transmission of any image or file is not grant

He may have just missed out on the chance of walking out at Twickenham, but Withycombe Rugby Club under-12 skipper Oliver Willis insisted he had still loved every minute of his Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup experience.

Read more
Tue, 12:38

Honiton bowlers have played three and won three of their mixed friendly matches; a great way to start the winter bowling, writes Julie Grant.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 8°C

Most Read Sport

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Midweek Herald e-edition E-edition

Find a job in Devon

Local business directory

Honiton's trusted business finder

Find planning applications