Western Counties West
Chard 7, Wadebridge Camels 18

CHARD lost their fourth game in a row in a tight encounter against Wadebridge, who are one of the league’s better teams, writes Glyn Hughes.

In isolation this would not seem to be too bad a result – it was Chard’s only second home defeat of the season – but in reality it was a game that the hosts should have won.

Wadebridge opened the scoring after seven minutes when fly-half Danny Thomas converted a straightforward penalty attempt, but the hosts hit back when Billy Biss – who was superb throughout – broke through the visitors’ defence to score a fine try, converted by Ryan Wingate.

But Chard always seem vulnerable from restarts, and conceded an immediate penalty, again slotted by Thomas.

There was no lack of effort from the Chard players, and they came very close to increasing their lead on several occasions, but the final piece of the jigsaw was missing as basic errors proved costly.

It remained 7-6 at half time, and it was on the cards that the side which could capitalise on their opponents’ mistakes would win the game.

This turned out to be Wadebridge, who scored two tries in the final quarter to take the match, both coming from centre Dom Hawkley.

He took full advantage of the home side losing possession twice in their own half, and his second try – scored with only a minute to go – meant that Chard did not even gain a losing bonus point.

For Chard, it is clear that several things need to be better, but a major factor is that they do not currently have a reliable kicker, so when they get penalties they often spurn the simple points and look for other options instead.

They had at least five kickable penalties which would have won this game, but the promising Ryan Wingate – the one player who could possibly step in to this role – missed most of the second half after being surprisingly replaced.

Wadebridge, on the other hand, kicked three of their four attempts at goal.

Despite sitting in what appears to be a comfortable mid-table position, Chard are now only seven points ahead of a relegation place, so a few more wins are imperative.

This Saturday, Chard host second-placed Devonport Services (ko 2.30pm).

This is a re-arranged fixture that had been postponed due to the recent bad weather.


Chard & Ilminster News:

CHARGE: Chard 2nds captain Brian Sugar takes on two Minehead defenders. Pic: Steve Richardson

Somerset 2 South
Minehead Barbarians 2nds 14, Chard 2nds 12

LATE call-ups meant that the team travelling to Minehead was a scratch 15 with a mix of seasoned 2nds players, reliable 3rds and some keen Colts.

Minehead opted to run up the slope in the first half, and the hosts didn’t really get out of their own territory, with Chard piling on the pressure.

That paid off when captain Brian Sugar charged over and Ieuan Watkins converted.

Watkins himself got a second try, but this time could not convert.

Tom Hopkins also crossed the line twice more, but both efforts were disallowed as the grounding wasn’t seen, so the score was 12-0 at half time.

Despite some fine tackling, the hosts claimed two tries after the break, with both being converted to make it 14-12.

Aaron Lewis was man of the match in his first senior game in the front row.

Chard 2nd XV: Aaron Lewis, Eric Singleton, Gavin Smillie, Paul Wright, Brian Sugar (c), Tom Hopkins, Ben Lock, Josh Moore, Jim Grossey, Ieuan Watkins, Stuart Sugar, Chris Doel, Gavin Watts, Joel Ingarfield, Michael Burden.

Neither Chard’s 2nd or 3rd XVs have a game this coming Saturday.

On Sunday, Chard RFC will host the Webb Ellis Somerset Women’s Cup semi-final between North Petherton and Yeovil (ko 2pm).