RUGBY: Chard end their Bridgwater jinx

RUGBY: Chard end their Bridgwater jinx

RUGBY: Chard end their Bridgwater jinx

First published in Sport

CHARD secured their first competitive win at Bridgwater on Saturday with a 22-10 success in Tribute South West 1 West.

After Chard dominated the first half the home side worked their way into the game in the second period but Chard got a deserved bonus point.

And it was a fitting way for coach Steve Broome to celebrate a ‘significant birthday’.

The president of the RFU, Bob Reeves was a guest at the pre-match hospitality event and in his speech he pointed out that that the away side had never yet won the game at all the clubs he had visited. No more motivation was needed.

Chard have been guilty of starting slowly in several games this season but this was certainly not the case in this match and they looked in really good form from the off.

The ball was switched quickly from side to side with both forwards and backs involved and Chard left wing Jack Pennington finished things off with a try in the corner after only three minutes which skipper Chris Doak converted.

Chard had opportunities to increase their advantage but as is the norm with Chard they chose to kick to the corner from two penalties rather than take the points on offer. This is often a successful tactic but not this time.

Chard did increase their lead after 24 minutes when the forwards drove Bridgwater back before releasing the ball out wide and Pennington went over for his second which this time went unconverted as Doaks kick hit the upright.

Stuart Heal missed a fairly straight-forward kick for the hosts on one of their rare excursions in to the Chard half but shortly before the break Chard increased their lead when Lee Massey broke through down the right midfield before cutting inside to score a third try for his team.

Once again Doak struck the conversion attempt well but it again rebounded back off the post to leave Chard 17-0 ahead at half time.

Bridgwater started the second half strongly and for the first time in the match Chard found themselves under pressure.

They were pinned back on their own line for sometime but defended superbly to keep the home side at bay.

They eventually cleared their lines but then committed the cardinal sin of telling the referee how to do his job which resulted in Bridgwater getting a penalty kick which they duly put back in the corner.

This time Chard were unable to keep them at bay and prop Joe Bussell drove over for an unconverted try 15 minutes into the half. Heal was unable to add the extras.

This was a bit of a wake up call for Chard and they then began to raise their game again.

They had made several changes for this game both in terms of personnel but particularly positionally and certainly it appeared that Neil Douglas in the centre, Bryan Harrison at full-back and Pennington on the wing were happy to be back in their favoured positions.

In addition Jason Wright flanker, and Charlie Roberts wing started the game and put in performances that certainly justified their selection.

Chard were desperate to get a fourth bonus point try and deep in to the half they duly managed it when skipper Doak slid over in the right hand corner.

The conversion was missed but it mattered not as Chard were now virtually certain of victory.

Bridgwater got a second consolation try at the death but Chard were worthy winners and could celebrate with their coach in style.

Chard: Harrison, Roberts, L Massey, Douglas, Pennington, Doak (capt) Helliar, Wagstaff, Parsons, Wright, Mouland, Henley, Aplin, Jenkins, Hyslop, Replacements (all used) J Massey, Robinson, Riley.

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