CHARD 2nds beat Crewkerne 21-15 in a contested derby in Tribute Somerset 1 which became palpably tense, especially in the last ten minutes.
Crewkerne, who had won five matches to Chard’s three before the match, started slight favourites on their home patch.
But Chard started the brighter and with more positive intent and nerves were settled after 15 minutes.
Pressure on the home midfield on their ten metre line led to a loose ball scooped up by centre Matt Tinley who broke clear. Full back Ben Stead was on hand to score under the posts and Sam Mouland converted.
Enboldened by this, Chard kept up the attacking intent.
Young scrum half Doug Caddick, a terrier behind the forwards, was making a huge contribution and the pressure told on Crewkerne.
A mistake in their midfield was seized upon by the ever-alert Tinley who had too much pace to be caught, scoring under the posts. Mouland again converted.
Crewkerne increased the tempo in an attempt to catch up, but it was Chard who took the initiative forcing good field position on the home 22.
A short forward drive released rapidly improving second row Harry Miller who surprised everyone with his pace over short range to score near the posts. Again Mouland converted to make it 21-0 to Chard.
The hosts pulled a score back shortly before half time. Their left wing was extremely quick and he stole away with a loose ball from half-way scoring near the posts.
The try was converted to make it 21-7 at the break.
The second half was dominated by Crewkerne with most of the rugby being played in the Chard half as the hosts, chasing the game, used the slope to their advantage.
Chard defended superbly at times, desperately on occasions, but inevitably with such pressure one of the Crewkerne second rows rumbled over to score wide out.
The conversion missed, but Chard’s lead was now 12-21.
Living on scraps of possession, Chard had little attacking opportunity, but at times even when playing under pressure, they showed flashes of the attacking fluency they’re capable of.
As time ticked down, Crewkerne slotted a close range penalty to make it 15-21 before a major last assault on the Chard line to steal it at the end.
The visitors’ defence held firm – a great effort to seal a notable and welcome win.