Chard III make all-conquering Taunton work hard for another win

PUBLISHED: 08:54 26 April 2018 | UPDATED: 08:54 26 April 2018

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Chard III went down 46-22 in a Tribute Somerset Three (S) Friday night meeting, writes, Gavin Smillie

There may have been 24 points between the teams at the close, but this was a lot closer than the score suggests and Chard made Taunton work hard to maintain their on-going 100 per cent record.

Friday night games seem to bring out the players as well as the crowd and Chard had the luxury of plenty of availability and they were also able to offer a welcome return to Ryan Knight, playing his first game of the season.

Taunton started brightly and were a try to the good as early as the third minute. A one-sided game was expected after such early dominance, but Chard, under the leadership of Gavin Watts and Christian Hignett, had other ideas and, after a prolonged attack towards the visitors’ 22, a penalty was awarded in front of the posts and Nick Coombes sent the kick over.

Taunton pressed, but solid defending kept them out just long enough for Billy Vernon to steal the ball and run in from his own 22 giving Chard a 12-7 lead.

An end-to-end contest continued through to the interval by which time Taunton had scored twice more and it was they who led 21-12 at half-time.

Taunton kicked to restart and the battle commenced again in the ruck where Chard were more than a match and Taunton’s penalty count began to climb into double figures, but Chard were unable to take advantage.

Taunton scored twice more and this just seemed to galvanise the Chard players and Gavin Watts scored. Then, after some slick running, next to go over the line was Gavin Smillie; Taunton managed to hold the ball up but from the resulting scrum Paul Write made the ground and popped the perfect pass to Andrew McKerrow to score again to make it 36-22. Taunton came back strong against a solid, but tiring Chard team and went over twice more before the final whistle, but Chard made them work for every point. Chard were beaten on the night by the undefeated league winners, but perhaps the game was closer than the final score suggests.

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