Chard skipper seals success in Northamptonshire as club gain promotion
- Credit: Archant
Towcesterians 18, Chard 22 A last minute penalty try, converted by skipper Chris Doak, gave Chard a narrow win in Nothamptonshire which means that they are promoted to National League Three (SW), writes Glyn Hughes.
Chard suffered a severe blow in the opening seconds of the game when scrum half Paul Nicholls suffered a suspected broken collar bone. As a result Charlie Roberts moved into scrum half from the wing and Ben Stead came in on the wing.
Towcester were quick to take advantage of the loose ball and Chard conceded a try seconds later when centre Mark Yeates crossed the line. Full back James Falvey added the extras.
Chard soon settled down and their forwards were clearly dominant.The scores became equal when number eight Jim Wagstaff got the touchdown from a pushover and Doak kicked the conversion points.
Chard continued to dominate things for the next twenty minutes and winger Jack Pennington put them ahead when he finished off a delightful move down the left hand side to score an unconverted try.
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Pennington them had a try disallowed by the touch judge for a forward pass even though the referee had initially given it.
In the final seconds of the first half the home side got on level terms when a poor Chard clearance kick set up a counter attack and number eight Craig Holton got the score. Falvey hit the posts with his conversion attempt Chard however had an immediate penalty chance from the restart and Doak stroked the ball through the posts to give Chard a 15-12 half-time advantage.
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The hosts had the better of the early stages in the second half and got back on terms with a penalty from Falvey before he then put his side in front with another successful kick
It became a gripping affair with the large crowd on edge and it could have gone either way at this point so much so that extra time looked a real possibility
The tension was huge and the dying minutes of the game had everything.
Chard had a penalty to tie up the scores but chose to take the scrum and go for the win. The hosts lost a prop to the sin bin after the initial scrummage and after three attempts to drive Towcestrians back over their own line the referee bravely but correctly awarded Chard a penalty try.
The hosts still had a few seconds to go for the winning try, but Chard held put for a famous victory .