Western Counties West
Falmouth 29, Chard 15

CHARD played well at Falmouth, but another defeat on the road has left them pointless in January, writes Glyn Hughes.

They gave a wholehearted display but two bad errors midway through the first half proved decisive.

Chard were hit by late withdrawals, combined with the news that their main goal-kicker, Charlie Roberts, could well be out for the season having sustained a knee injury.

And so they travelled to Cornwall with the bare bones of a team and only two regular backs.

Skipper Ryan Helliar and coach Jim Wagstaff had to shuffle things around, but to their credit they all gave very committed performances, pleasing Wagstaff, who also had to turn out.

Chard played against a very strong wind in the first half and were unsurprisingly pinned back in their half.

They defended well, but eventually the pressure told and after 15 minutes Falmouth went over for a try under the posts, scored by Tom Spiller and converted by skipper Justyn Irons.

The game was effectively decided, though, when Chard gave away two virtually identical interception tries.

Two of the team’s most experienced players were guilty of sloppy, badly-timed passes, and on both occasions centre Tom Edmunds benefited.

Both his tries were converted to give Falmouth a 21-0 lead at the break, which was harsh on Chard.

The visitors bounced back well in the second half, however, and showed a great deal of character.

Their impressive forwards drove Falmouth back at a rate of knots, then Dave Biss powered over under the posts, and Ryan Wingate converted.

Wingate then kicked a penalty goal to get Chard into double figures, but just as it looked as if they might get back into the mix, the hosts increased their lead with a third try from Edmunds.

Irons missed the conversion but did add a penalty goal to make it 29-10.

These scores were against the run of play, as Chard certainly had the better of the second half territorially, and they had some reward when Max Gosden went over for a try late in the game.

The simple conversion was missed and late attempts to get another try, which would have yielded a losing bonus point, fell agonisingly short.

Chard ‘won’ the second half 15-8 but will really rue the self-inflicted wounds that cost them the game.

Skipper Helliar was pleased with the contribution made by Connor Moon, who was making his debut at this level.

This Saturday Chard are at home to Wadebridge (kick-off 2.30pm).

All other games scheduled for last weekend were victims of the weather.

On Saturday the 2nd XV are at Minehead and the 3rds at Midsomer Norton.