Chard in relegation battle after defeat at Paignton

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Rugby generic picture - Credit: Archant

Chard went down 21-3 on their visit to Paignton for their latest Western Counties (West) game, writes Glyn Hughes.

Sometimes it really is just not your day and never has this been so true for Chard as it was on Saturday in Torbay! You could just not make it up!

A traffic incident on the A30 between Honiton and Exeter meant that the road was closed in both directions so, as a result, the team bus was held up for over two hours and the game which had been due to kick off at 2.30pm, did not start until 4.15pm!

A few players travelling independently because they had to return immediately after the game were therefore unable to play, but despite this, Chard were able to put out a competitive team even though several players were also away on a skiing holiday!

The road closure was caused by a fire on a coach taking a veterans team to play at Paignton!

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Thankfully no one was injured, although a lot of personal possessions were lost in the blaze and so the game itself!

Paignton took an early lead with a penalty, but this was soon cancelled out when Dougie Herbert slotted over a similar effort for Chard.

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The rest of the first half was very evenly contested, but two further penalty kicks from the home side gave them a very narrow 9-3 lead at the break. Chard began the second half continuing to play with great spirit and it was good to see Harry Miller back playing after a long lay-off and James Twigg, who had also come back into the team, proved his worth with some excellent touch kicking throughout the game.

Paignton had the better of things in the second half, but Chard had a chance of going into the lead.

However, full back Ben Stead just failed to hold on to an interception pass that would have seen him stroll in under the posts for what would surely have been a seven point score.

The home team, though, sealed things when they scored two late tries to deprive Chard of even a losing bonus point.

There can be no complaints about the effort and commitment of the Chard players, but the pre-match issues certainly did not help their cause.

Adding post-match insult to injury, Chard discovered, after the match, that Crediton, Tiverton and Torquay had picked up points in matches no one would have thought likely!

As a consequence of that, Chard now find themselves well and truly in a relegation fight with only five points separating them from the second relegation place.

Saturday (March 17) sees Chard play a re-arranged home game against Sidmouth with kick-off being 2.30pm.

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