Chard edged out in home close-encounter with unbeaten Sidmouth
PUBLISHED: 11:23 05 November 2018
Chard were edged out in their Western Counties (West) meeting with unbeaten Sidmouth, but had the consolation of a last minute try that gave them two richly deserved points from a contest they contributed so much to before going down 27-24, writes Glyn Hughes.
However, despite that last minute try from Adam Moore converted by Niall Crouch, the home side will be ruing the mistakes which gifted table-topping Sidmouth a couple of tries earlier in the game .
A well refereed game was very evenly contested throughout and it was Chard who struck first with an unconverted Billy Biss try straight from the kick off.
Chard were then guilty yet again of giving too many penalties away and Dan Retter kicked the first one within range to reduce the deficit.
Sidmouth then had a 10-minute spell when they were right on top, but the Chard defensive tackling was excellent and despite being pinned back in their own 22 they managed to keep the visitors out.
However, after 20 minutes a missed tackle in midfield set up a try for centre James Powell which was converted by Retter and Sidmouth led 10-5.
Chard came back strongly and spurned an easy penalty attempt to go for a try and elected to take a scrummage instead.
They won the ball well and drove Sidmouth back at a rate of knots before getting the ball out to Biss, who went over for his second try of the game and Crouch converted, which left Chard in a 12-10 lead.
A miss-directed kick down field gave Sidmouth full back Sam Meadham time to counter-attack and, aided, by several missed tackles in midfield he offloaded to wing Luke Wells Burr who scored, but the conversion was missed.
Five minutes into first half injury time, another breakaway from deep by Sidmouth resulted in a try for centre James Powell. Chard lost prop Luke Hill to injury and he was replaced by Warren Lewis and half-time arrived with Sidmouth leading 20-12.
Early in the second half Crouch ghosted over down the blindside to score another Chard try and the gap between the teams was down to one of just three points.
The home side were very solid in the forwards with Scott Johnson, Max Gosden and Jason Wright all winning good lineout ball and the whole pack were solid in the set pieces. However, a period of Chard pressure ended with them gifting Wells-Burr an interception deep in his own half, and, with the Chard players all in attacking positions, he took full advantage, running the length of the field to score a bonus point try for the visitors which was converted by Retter.
Chard had several penalties in the dying minutes which would have given them a losing bonus point, but elected to take the scrum option in order to try and get a try bonus point as well. This decision eventually paid off with the last minute bonus try by Moore.
This was a hugely entertaining game for a crowd of 150 plus, but, sadly for the home faithful, it became the third game this season in which Chard have scored four tries and got nothing out of the contest.
If Chard can cut down the number of mistakes they make then the next win will soon come, but they have taken nine points from their last three games which shows the importance of getting the bonus points on offer even if you do not win the game.
Chard: E Szdelko, R Collenso, B Brooks,C Roberts, B Biss, N Crouch, R Helliar,D Biss, J Mainwaring, L Hill, A Moore, M Gosden, M Tinley, J Wright S. Johnson, A Bromfield, W Lewis.