Chard keep staying up hopes 'alive' after terrific win over Truro
PUBLISHED: 12:13 01 April 2019
Chard kept their chances of Western Counties survival very much alive thanks to a superb second half performance that ultimately took them to a 29-18 home win over Truro, writes Glyn Hughes.
What’s more, not only did the side bag a crucial win, but they also claimed what could be a vital bonus point when full back Ben Stead crossed for their fourth try with only minutes to go.
Chard started the game very positively and took an early lead when Matt Ayres marked his home debut with a penalty.
He had another attempt a few minutes later, but his well struck effort hit the crossbar and Truro managed to clear their lines.
Truro however, grew into the game and began to look very dangerous particularly when they bulky ball carriers got the ball in hand. They got the first try of the match when a long penalty kick to the corner gave them an opportunity to attack and scrum half Owen Davey crossed for a try which full back Craig Williams was unable to convert.
Shortly afterwards, Chard had a let off when Williams missed a straight forward penalty attempt to increase the visitors lead, but within a few minutes, centre James Martin turned up the gas and cooked up a powerful run to crash over close to the posts. Williams converted and then added a penalty a few minutes later to see Truro into a 15-3 half-time lead.
Early in the second half, Williams slotted another penalty and the Chard cause looked a troubled one as they trailed 18-3!
However, Truro made a complete and utter hash of the restart and the quick thinking Chard skipper Ryan Helliar nipped in to pinch the ball and score Chards first try of the contest. It got better for Chard as Ayres slotted the penalty to close the score to 18-10.
The home crowd could sense a comeback and roared their team on and they were rewarded when, following some great work by Joe Mainwaring and Stead, the ball got into the hands of Scott Johnson who forced his way over close to the posts. Ayres who was playing really well and controlling things from fly half, added the conversion and suddenly Chard were just a single point in arrears at 18-17.
In the first half a Truro player had spent 10 minutes in the bin for a blatant trip and was now deemed to be guilty of a high tackle which meant a second yellow card and thus a red.
With their opponents down to 14 players for the rest of the game Chard could sniff victory and skipper Helliar put them ahead with his second try of the game.
Ayres again added the extra points, but sadly almost immediately he suffered a knee injury meaning he would take no further in the game.
With time running out, Stead, who had been a real livewire since coming on as a replacement, burst through for Chards fourth and bonus point try. The try was unconverted and in a desperate final few minutes Chard clung on to their lead and thus prevented Truro from picking up a losing bonus point.
Despite the win, Chard remain in trouble as they have two very difficult games to come, starting with Saturdays (April 6) trip to Wadebridge followed by an April 13 home meeting with title chasing Wellington.
Realistically one would imagine they need to get something from these games if they are to avoid dropping down a division. The game at Wadebridge will kick off at 3pm
Also on Saturday (April 6), the Chard 2nd XV are away at Martock (3pm).
There’s plenty of action at Chard this Saturday with the Vets playing Farnham Vets on the main pitch, kicking off at 12.45pm
This will be followed by Chard ladies playing Minehead Ladies at 3pm, also on the main pitch.