Western Counties West
Chard 17, Bideford 0

AFTER the very poor performance against Wellington last week, Chard really pulled themselves together for this game and the work done on the training field to improve their defensive play certainly paid off, writes Glyn Hughes.

This was particularly evident in the tackling, which was superb throughout.

Chard were under pressure for the opening ten minutes and Bideford had several chances to take the lead but failed to do so.

It soon became clear they did not have a front-line kicker in their ranks who could take advantage of the penalties Chard were giving away.

All their attempts to run the ball were thwarted by some great tackling led by flanker Jason Wright.

As the half wore on, Bideford were having more and more trouble with the Chard front row of Nick Hyslop, Joe Mainwaring and Dave Biss who really gave their opposite numbers a torrid time. 

They changed personnel a few times to try and improve things but all to no avail and, it came as no surprise when, after 30 minutes, the referee was left with no option but to award Chard a penalty try.

Despite now being well on top,Chard were unable to add to the scoreline and the interval was reached with Chard holding on to their lead.

Hyslop had received a yellow card right on the interval for technical irregularities so Chard had to play the first ten minutes of the second half with only 14 players.

Chard were trying to play entertaining rugby but several promising moves broke down as a result of basic handling errors.

Charlie Roberts missed a straight forward penalty which would have put Chard two scores ahead. 

However, Chard did increase their lead with a lovely try from winger Emile Szdelko, who finished off a flowing move by going outside his man to score his second try of the season.

The conversion was missed but Chard now had a 12-point advantage.

In the dying minutes of the game, Mainwaring made a terrific break and managed to somehow offload an outrageous pass which George Russo took superbly to score a third try.

It was a much-improved team display by Chard but they will certainly need to cut down the number of penalties they concede which would no doubt be heavily punished by a good opposition kicker.

The whole team played well but special mention for lock forward Adam Moore who is really beginning to show real potential.

Chard - Ben Stead, Ross Colenso, Gabe Riley, Bill Biss, Emile Szdelko, Charlie Roberts, Doug Herbert, Nick Hyslop, Joe Mainwaring, Dave Biss, Adam Moore, Warren Lewis, Scott Johnson, Jason Wright, Max Gosden.
Replacements: Billy Brookes, George Russo, Ben Lock (all used).

Somerset 2 South 
Winscombe 52, Chard 2nds 0

Chard came unstuck against a more than useful Winscombe team who had clearly trained together a lot more than the visitors!

Chard had a full side with several replacements but playing ‘off the cuff’ rugby against a good side is always going to be difficult.

Chard conceded 35 points in the first half and it was not until midway through the second period that Chard began to put some good rugby together with  Matt Tinley, Tom Monaghan and Niall Crouch all making good breaks.

Several others had good games individually but head coach Luke Aplin is desperate to get all his team training so that he can get the best out of them.

The more you train the luckier you get!

Chard; Jim Grossey, Martin Drayton, Jordon Beale, Niall Crouch, Joel Ingarfield, Ieuan Watkins, Nick Coombes. Aaron Lewis, Ben Partridge, Brian Sugar, Tristain Smith, Paul Wright, Steve Long, Matt Tinley, Zak Stabins, Replacements (All used): Tom Monagahan, Joshua Esteves, Gavin Watts, David Lock, Owen Fursman, Murray Deaves, Jacob Mee .