Chard impress in victory over Tiverton
- Credit: Archant
Chard were 25-18 winners when they entertained Tiverton in a Western Counties West meeting, writes Glyn Hughes.
Chard, beaten the week before in their rearranged match at Teignmouth, went into the game with the Mid Devon men without skipper Ryan Helliar who continues to be sidelined by concussion issues that will probably keep him out of action until January, but they did have winger Emile Szydelko back in the squad and on the bench following a long spell out because of injury.
The game was played on a really excellent surface and in perfect weather conditions.
The Chard forwards set up an early try when they won a penalty and the resultant kick was put into the corner and, from the line-out Adam Moore went over. The conversion attempt from Paul Nicholls was unsuccessful and so Chard held an early 5-0 lead.
Tiverton were soon back in the game and, in truth, looked anything but a team labouring at the foot of the table!
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They had some big useful players in the pack and some powerful running centres and it was their winger Tom Heard who levelled the scores up with an unconverted try.
Chard were finding it difficult to stop initial breaks and, from a series of penalties, the visitors scored two of them to deservedly lead 11-5.
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The response from Chard was good and, with the final move of the half, outstanding utility back Ross Colenso scored a terrific opportunist try which was set up for him by Nicholls. The conversion from the touchline was missed, but Chard went in at the interval only trailing by a single point at 10-11.
As well as Tiverton played in the opening half Chard would have been disappointed with their performance up to this point and really needed to up their game.
Whatever was said during the interval certainly worked and skipper Matt Tinley led from the front with a fine try in the opening minutes of the second half.
Nicholls added the conversion and soon followed this up with a penalty goal which took Chard into a 20-11 lead.
When they got the ball, Tiverton were attacking really well and replacement Ollie King brought them right back in to the game when he finished off a lovely passage of play to score under the posts.
Down added the extra points and there was now only a two point advantage for the hosts.
However, Charlie Roberts, who, along with winger Huw Edwards, had had a really good game, ghosted through the Tiverton defence within minutes of the restart to score a bonus point fourth try for Chard.
Nicholls hit the upright with the conversion attempt and so, with the score now at 25-18, Tiverton would need a converted try to share the spoils. Tiverton efforts were not helped by yellow cards and injury, but Chard had played really well in the second half and, despite having one of their own players sent to the bin and an injury to Cloenso they were in no mood to let Tiverton score again.
After the very disappointing result at Teignmouth, Chard thoroughly deserved to win this game and Tiverton, if they continue to play like this, will no doubt get out of the relegation zone sooner rather than later.
Chard team: Ben Stead, Huw Edwards, Billy Brooks, Charlie Roberts, Ross Colenso, Niall Crouch, Paul Nicholls, Dave Biss, Ben Robinson, Luke Aplin, Max Gosden, Adam Moore, Matt Tinley (Capt) Jason Wright, Joe Mainwaring.
Replacements:- Warren Lewis, Emile Szydelko ( both used) Jon Hendy (unused)
On Saturday (December 14) Chard travel to Cornwall to play Wadebridge.