Chard thump already releagted Coney Hill
Chard 87, Coney Hill 15 Coney Hill who are already relegated had beaten high flying St Austell a week ago, but they were as the score suggests comprehensively beaten on Saturday by a rampant Chard side who other than a brief spell early in the second half were in top form throughout, writes Gklyn Hughes.
This win means that the battle for a play off spot is now entirely in Chards hands.
Quite simply if they can win their penultimate game against Thornbury away next Saturday and then win at home against Wadebridge two days later on Easter Monday then a play off match is assured. Any play off game would be played on Saturday 26th April against the runners up in South West One East and this would appear to be Towcestrians. It would appear at the moment that whatever happens Towcester would be given home advantage .
Chard were on the scoreboard inside the first minute when skipper Chris Doak slotted a penalty goal in front of the posts. Charlie Roberts then got the first try after four minutes play and then set up the next try for prop Luke Aplin who showed a good turn of pace to score another unconverted effort in the corner. Player coach Simon Jenkins got try number three from a catch and drive move before Coney Hill replied with a drop goal from Craig Holder. Roberts who was having an excellent game then linked well with Paul Nicholls before crossing for his
second try. Only 20 minutes into the game and the bonus point was in the bag!
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With Coney Hill already flagging Chard played some superb open rugby and it was fitting that the next three tries in the half would be scored by the forwards who have been outstanding in virtually every game this campaign. Number eight Jim Wagstaff, lock forward Richard Mouland and the evergreen Mark Parsons got the touchdowns and with Doak adding two conversions Chard led by 44pts to 3pts at the interval.
At the beginning of the second half Chard brought on Ben Robinson for Jenkins and Ryan Helliar for Nicholls.
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Chard then got over confident and with wild passes going all over the place it was predictable that something would go wrong and sure enough it did. Coney Hill who had taken a battering in the opening half had some pace in their backs notably from winger Luke Morgan. He intercepted two passes and not for the first time this year Chard were caught cold as he ran through for two touchdowns. With Holder converting one of the tries the visitors had pulled back another twelve points.
For the first fifteen minutes of the second half Chard continued to make a lot of errors and things got very scrappy indeed much to the frustration of coaches Jenkins and Broome.
However as soon as Charlie Roberts burst through for his third try Chard really clicked into top gear again and the visitors could do nothing to stem the tide as the hosts ran through for another six tries which came from Jack Pennington who scored three touchdowns Jason Wright, Ben Stead who had earlier come on for Roberts and Doak. Doak added several more conversions before the referee brought the game to a close to give Chard their biggest win of the season as they scored fourteen tries
Rules are rules but it does seem ridiculous to expect players to play two games in three days at this level but Chard are more than up for the challenge.
The game next Saturday at Thornbury will kick off at 3pm as will the game two days later on Easter Monday at home to Wadebridge when hopefully a large crowd will cheer on Chard to that play off position. Both games will be tough encounters and on Easter Monday Wadebridge should be fresh as they do not have to play on the Saturday.
Chard team: Harrison, Roberts, Twigg, Douglas, Pennington, Doak, Nicholls, Aplin, Jenkins, Hyslop, Mouland, Henley, Parsons, Wright, Wagstaff Replacements:- Robinson, Stead, Helliar (all used).