Chard’s Wing Commanders back to winning ways
- Credit: Archant
With a run of defeats in November, Chard’s Wing Commanders needed to get a result to secure their place at the right end of the table and, at kick-off, with only 14 Chard men on the pitch it seemed like a hard slog was in order once again., writes Gavin Smillie.
Chard were tasked with playing 'up hill' in the first half and pressured the visitors, gaining ground only to give away possession through silly penalties allowing Wells to clear their lines and force Chard to start again from their half. The deadlock was broken when, from an excellent line break, front row Ben Lock saw a gap and he burst through it before releasing Kieran Smillie and he took it up the right wing before off-loading to scrum half Dave Baker to cross the whitewash and see Chard into a 5-0 lead.
The 15th man arrived to restore the home side to a full complement, but a combination of a good Wells defence, silly penalties and plenty of scrums saw much of the play take place ion the middle third of the pitch and the teams trooped off at the break with Chard still holding a 5-0 lead.
After the break, Wells began on the front foot and it was only some disciplined defence that kept the visitors out. However, someone caught the attention of the match official and the resultant straight forward penalty was rifled between the uprights to see Wells onto the score board.
Buoyed by score, Wells were soon pressing again and, when a second penalty was awarded, it too was successfully kicked to give Wells a 6-5 lead with 17 minutes remaining.
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Clearly stung by falling behind, Chard stepped up the tempo of their play and training ground work came to the fore and, with Wells visibly tiring, the home pressure built and it was no surprise when Mark 'Elvis' Hamill crossed for a try and, shortly after, Ross Fanyinka also dotted down for Chard to lead 15-6.
The last attack of the contest was played out by Wells who scored a try from the blind side of a scrum inside the Chard 22 and the conversion was clean to see the visitors depart with the losing bonus point, but it was Chard who took the match honours with the final score being 15-13.
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The Chard Man of the Match award went to the returning Matt Dunn, who was all over the pitch and hopes are high that he will not be a regular feature in the team for the rest of the season.