FOR the second week in succession Chard 2nds came up short in Tribute Somerset 1 in a match they could and should have won - losing 40-34 at home to Yatton 2nds.
Chard are a team that need a good start but got exactly the opposite – conceding a soft, streaky try in the first minute.
Things got worse when Yatton scored a second try to lead 12-0 inside the first five minutes.
The team then got their act together, driving a short range lineout towards the visitors’ line with veteran Paul Wright steering the maul forward.
Two Yatton forwards came in from the side illegally as Wright was about to score and the referee awarded a penalty try, converted by Sam Mouland.
Chard, with spirits lifted, attacked immediately after the re-start creating a try for full-back Phil Goodridge-Reynolds to make it 14-12.
The Yatton pack were a canny and well-drilled unit with strong, experienced forwards. And with their fly-half controlling the game well, they proved themselves expert at keeping the ball and frustrating Chard for long periods.
Unusually, Chard’s defence lacked authority at times, with the notable exception of the big-hearted Matt Tinley and the tireless Billy Brooks.
Yatton extended their lead with two more scores before Chard came back and Sam Mouland slotted a penalty. Yatton then scored again through their hard-driving pack to lead 33-15 at half time.
Chard were brighter, more creative and more incisive in the second half.
The experienced and strong- running Ben Stead came off the bench to bolster the midfield and had an immediate effect.
Stead burst through a gap created by Tinley 40 metres out and broke through a couple of tackles to close the gap to 33-22 with Mouland’s conversion.
Yatton reverted to type. Keeping the ball tight with their forwards and rumbling deep into home territory, they powered over to make it 40-22 with only 12 minutes left.
Stirringly the hosts created another score for Stead whose power was too much for the Yatton midfield. Mouland converted.
Suddenly Chard believed the match could be won and moved the ball into midfield where wing Chris Doel and Stead combined with pace and superb passing for Stead to score his third try wide out.
The conversion missed and it was 40-34. With time almost up and rising panic in their ranks Yatton reverted to type again and saw the game out by keeping the ball with their pack.