CHARD Under-13s travelled to North Petherton – arguably the strongest side in the region – and put up a highly creditable performance.

They lost 12-0 but the score was by no means a fair reflection of the way the game went. On another day victory could so easily have been theirs.

The hosts began in top gear and for the first 10 mins were camped in the visitor’s territory. Excellent defence by Chard kept North Petherton at bay and their commitment paid off finally as centre Niall Crouch punted the ball into safety.

Chard then began a good period of creative play in the hosts’ half and continually applied pressure.

The second half saw winger Roy Wickham put pressure on the hosts as he forced a fumble from their defence and was nearly clean through. Unfortunately North Petherton were too good and counter-attacked to score the first try of the match.

Chard full-back Ben Fenton made several strong runs through the hosts’ defence but was also thwarted in the final ten metres. Man-of-the-match Crouch kicked very well throughout while locks Finlay Boarder and Lawrie Thornton were strong at the breakdowns.

Unfortunately North Petherton scored in the last few minutes after another prolonged period inside Chard’s 22m territory.