Moon shines as Chard go down at Falmouth
PUBLISHED: 15:43 30 January 2018 | UPDATED: 15:43 30 January 2018
Chard went down 29-15 on their visit to Falmouth and, despite playing well on Cornish soil, this latest reversal means Chard have been left pointless throughout January, writes Glyn Hughes.
In a wholehearted team display, two bad errors midway through the first half were to prove to be the decisive moments in the contest.
Chard, unfortunately, had issues before the game in that late withdrawals from several players (all three-quarters) combined with the news that their main goal kicker, Charlie Roberts, could well be out for the season having sustained a knee injury, and so travelled to Cornwall with the bare bones of a team and included only two players who would normally consider themselves as backs.
As a result, skipper Ryan Helliar and coach Jim Wagstaff had to shuffle things around, which meant that several players were playing out of position.
To their credit they all played with great enthusiasm and gave very committed performances, which would have pleased Wagstaff, who also had to turn out.
Chard played against a very strong wind in the first half and were, not surprisingly, pinned back in their own half for long periods.
They defended well, however, but eventually the pressure told and a home converted try on 15 minutes became the first score on the board. The game turned when Chard, who had been giving a good account of themselves, gave away two virtually identical interception tries.
Two of the team’s most experienced players were guilty of sloppy, badly timed passes and on both occasions the home centre benefited and Falmouth took a 21-0 lead into the interval, a score line that was certainly harsh given the Chard contribution to the first 40 minutes.
Chard started the second half well and showed a great deal of character. Initially, the forwards - who were good throughout - drove Falmouth back at a rate of knots and Dave Biss powered his way over under the posts for a fine try which Ryan Wingate converted.
Wingate then converted a penalty goal to get Chard into double figures, but just as it looked as if Chard might make a significant charge and get right back into the mix, the home side managed to get some possession and increased their lead with a third try, this time unconverted, but then also added a penalty to lead 29-10. These scores were against the run of play as Chard certainly had the better of the second half territorially.
Chard did get the reward they deserved when Max Gosden went over for a try late in the game. The simple conversion was missed and late attempts to get another try, which would have yielded a losing bonus point, fell agonisingly short. Chard ‘won’ the second half by 15 points to eight, but the damage was all self-inflicted in the first half and that, ultimately, cost them the game.
Skipper Helliar was pleased with the contribution made by Connor Moon who was making his debut at this level.