Chard boosted by splendid home win over Saltash

PUBLISHED: 08:32 18 February 2019

Honiton 2nds at home to Exeter Eng. Ref mhsp 41-16TI 9450. Picture: Terry Ife

Honiton 2nds at home to Exeter Eng. Ref mhsp 41-16TI 9450. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

Chard did their hopes of retaining their place in the Western Counties (W) division a big boost as they defeated a Saltash side making their first visit to them, 18-13, writes Glyn Hughes.

Chard made a good start and took an early lead. The score came after they were awarded a penalty close to the posts, but surprisingly, they opted to got for the corner only to lose the line-out!

However, a scrum followed the line out and the Chard pack showed their power to win the ball against the head and skipper Ryan Helliar picked up and scored.

Niall Crouch just missed the conversion and unfortunately had to leave the field shortly afterwards with a leg injury and he was replaced by Sam Mouland.

With the power of the Chard an increasing influence on the contest, it was no surprise when second row prop Adam Moore went over for the afternoon’s second try and a successful conversion from the boot of Emile Szydelko, increased the home lead.

Things got even better for Chard, and another good home support when, after good work from the forwards, Dave Bss drew a penalty that Szydelko slotted and, inside the first quarter of the contest Chard had chalked up a 15-0 advantage!

Saltash eventually grew into the match and it was they who had the better of things during the latter stages of the first half with their talented half backs and impressive number eight becoming more and more influential.

When in the Chard half they took a few quick penalties and set up a try for their prop forward Simmons who went over in the left had corner for a try converted by Keiran Down.

Chard then lost their second player to injury when Moore had to leave the field and he was replaced by Matt Tinley. That was followed by another successful penalty from the visitors and half-time arrived with the Chard lead reduced to one of five points at 15-10.

Early in the second Chard lost the services of Gabe Riley to the bin for 10 minutes, but their effort and enthusiasm when down to 14 men, was terrific and they limited Saltash to one penalty which was again scored by Down.

With the visitors now only two points behind Chard really upped their game, and, but for some basic errors close to the visitors line would surely have scored a third try.

It was turning into a terrific if nervous battle, but Chard got the next opportunity to score and Charlie Roberts added three points from a successful penalty kick.

Roberts had another opportunity minutes later to put Chard two scores ahead, but pulled his attempt wide.

In the final quarter, Chard were on top territorially, but lost the services of hooker Joe Mainwaring with player coach Jon Hendy coming on as a replacement.

In the final minute of the game Saltash made a lovely break up field and were close to getting the converted try they needed to win the game.

However, a couple of massive hits from Tinley and prop Nick Hyslop turned the ball over and Chard held on for a nail biting victory with Saltash on the balance of play deserving their losing bonus point.

There are no games at home next Saturday (February 23), but on Friday evening, Chard Vets will play Torbay Sharks under lights with kick-off at 7.30pm and the bar will be open throughout the evening !

Chard: Charlie Roberts, Ben Stead, Gabe Riley, Billy Brooks, Emile Szydelko, Niall Crouch, Ross Colenso, Nich Hyslop, Joe Mainwaring, Dave Biss, Adam Moore, Max Gosden, Scott Johnson, Jason Wright, Ryan Helliar (Captain). Replacements :- Jon Hendy, Matt Tinley, Sam Mouland (all used)

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