Chard net first five point haul of league season with win over Falmouth

PUBLISHED: 15:22 30 September 2018 | UPDATED: 15:26 30 September 2018

Hands holding rugby ball

Hands holding rugby ball

(C) 2008 Thinkstock Images

Chard bagged their first five point haul of the season with a good all-round performance that saw them defeat visiting Falmouth 32-24, writes Glyn Hughes.

With injuries and unavailability still hindering selection Chard chose to blood several younger players who all played well with 17-year-old Niall Crouch being given an opportunity to take on the crucial role at number ten.

Crouch looked confident and showed a lot of potential and looks like he could develop into a useful player as he gets more games under his belt

Chard normally start games slowly so it was heartening to see the team take the game to Falmouth right from the off. The visitors were quickly pinned back in their 22 and, following a penalty into the corner, the Chard lineout worked well and hooker Joe Mainwaring scored following a well-worked catch-and-drive move. Crouch slotted the conversion and Chard led 7-0.

A Crouch penalty extended the advantage to 10-0 before Dave Biss, having a fine game at prop, started a bulldozing run from close to the halfway line, and, much to the delight of the 200 plus crowd, burst through several despairing tackles before managing to off-load the ball to flanker Jason Wright a few metres from the try line and he crossed for Chard’s second try, this one unconverted as Crouch’s kick, fro out side, drifted wide of the mark. A third try followed soon after with Wright crossing for the second time and, with a quarter of the match gone, Chard held a 20-point lead.

As the half Falmouth got back more and more in to the game and, with Wright being sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes, Chard had to endure a lot of pressure from the visitors. However, the Chard defensive play remained solid and they safely negotiated the final 10 minutes of the half to troop off at the break sporting a 20-0 lead.

Falmouth started the second half strongly and took full advantage of Chard being unable to cope with the re start kick. This can be a real problem at times for Chard and, on this occasion, they paid the penalty when Falmouth number eight, Tom Spiller, crashed over for a try converted by the accurate boot of Justyn Irons.

Irons added another penalty to cut the deficit in half and Chard at this point were certainly wobbling a little and their forwards were for the first time in the game being shoved around somewhat in the set piece.

Chard dug deep and were soon back in the front foot, scoring two further tries in the space of 10 minutes.

Winger Emile Szdelko made a terrific break, and, after some fine inter-passing, Chard shoved their way over the line for the bonus point score with another very promising young player, Adam Moore, getting the score. Crouch converted and the home lead was stretched to 27-10.

Chard were again poor from the restart, but somehow survived and from a lineout following a kick to touch skipper Ryan Helliar touched down for Chards fifth try which, although unconverted, gave them a 32-10 advantage.

Falmouth were far from done however, and a late onslaught saw them come back with tries from Tom Edmonds and Ollie Church, both of which were converted by Irons.

Suddenly Falmouth were in chance of getting two bonus points if they could get a fourth try which would also bring them within losing bonus point range.

Chard were not to be denied though and held on for a deserved success. Coach Jim Wagstaff and his team will take a lot of positives from this performance, but they know there are still plenty of things to work on and Chard need to put in this sort of performance on the road and not just at home. On Saturday (October) Chard travel to Kingsbridge.

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