Chard Wing Commanders make table-topping Morganians work hard for latest success
PUBLISHED: 07:26 02 March 2020 | UPDATED: 07:26 02 March 2020
Chard Wing Commanders made table-topping Morganians when the pair met at Crewkerne Road, writes Gavin Smillie.
Despite the Chard 1st XV fixture falling to the recent rains, the 2nd XV coaching staff stayed with the published match day squad in the spirit of the league.
As always numbers were good for a home fixture and were further boosted by the return after a year out for Bill Biss and the introduction of new flying winger Will Hudson.
The game kicked off early due do the driving snow on a pitch that was described as 'boarder line' by the match referee and so the contest was destined to be played up front with little chance of expansive rugby.
Chard, despite playing up the slope in the first half, fashioned the early chances and Hudson powered his way through only for the visitors to eventually hold the ball up over the line and so the game restarted with a five-metre scrum.
Chard won the scrum and opted to spin the ball wide giving Morganians the opportunity to turnover and clear the ball, with a determined chase from the visiting backs they regained possession and went over for an unconverted try completely against the run of play!
The restart again saw Chard advance with some good work from the forwards keeping the ball for long periods before releasing the backs, the visiting defence was a match for the best of the home efforts and, once again, it was the table-topping side that struck again with a second unconverted try to go 10-0 up.
Chard managed to press in the visitors 22 in the final stages of the half and were awarded a penalty, but no score was out on the board and the teams trooped off for a deserved break with 10 points between them.
Chard started the second half well and were rewarded for their early endeavours when Ethan Badcock spotted space and galloped through the defence to score under the posts. Sam Mouland sent the conversion over and the gap between the teams was reduced to one of three points.
Morganians had a spell of putting Chard under pressure and, when they were awarded a penalty the kick dissected the posts to put the visitors 13-7 up.
Chard responded well, but Morganians displayed just why they are top of the table as they put together another clinical move that produced a third try to take them into an 18-7 lead.
With the introduction of Josh Strickland and Zak Stabbins, Chard Wing Commanders now had another couple of 'battering rams' on the pitch and were used to good effect, and it wasn't long before Brian Sugar drove over after a prolonged period on the oppositions line and Mouland got the extras to close the margin of deficit to one of just four points.
With just under five minutes to go any score would do for Chard, but the table-toppers defence held firm and the home team would have to settle with a single bonus point for their efforts.
Morganians will no doubt take the league title this season and Chards Wing Commanders gave them a good run for their money showing what they can do as a group when players make themselves available.
Chard team: G Smillie, Partridge, B Lock, A Lewis, Sugar, Fanyinka, K Smillie, W Lewis, W Draper Mouland, D Lock, W Biss, Badcock, Hudson, Baker Subs: Nicholls, Watts, Mckerrow, Stabbins, Strickland, Lovett, Stead, Brownsey-Hughes (all used)
Next up for the Chard Wing Commanders is a trio this Saturday (March 7) to Yeovil.
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