Western Counties (W)
Winscombe 18, Chard 12

ON a lovely sunny afternoon in Winscombe, Chard were to renew acquaintances with a team they hadn’t played since since playing in the Somerset Premier nearly 10 years ago.

Playing down the fairly steep slope in the first half, Winscombe seemed to have the edge in the opening exchanges and after a good passage of play Winscombe fed the ball along their three-quarters.

A missed tackle allowed Sam Flowers to go in under the posts giving fly-half Jim Merryfield the easiest of kicks to hand Winscombe a 7-0 lead.

Play continued to ebb and flow with Chard working their way back into the game well, but a lineout found Chard falling foul of the referee who awarded the hosts a penalty which was converted again by Merryfield.

Chard continued to put pressure on Winscombe and were giving a good account of themselves, however they did concede another penalty which this time was missed.

Great tackling by all of the Chard players was led by Jason Wright , whose technique meant he was stopping some of the big Winscombe ball carriers getting any momentum.

From the restart at the beginning of the second half, Chard controlled the ball for a good period but the game soon followed the pattern of the first half with a lot of play being played in between the 22s.

Chard grew into the game and the three-quarters were given the opportunity to run the ball.

Ben Stead drew in the covering tacklers to feed Ross Colenso, who was brave enough to take the ball in towards the posts for a great Chard try converted by Charlie Roberts.

Then, after a period of good Chard possession, Charlie Roberts went over for Chard’s second try but narrowly missed getting the extra points - even so, Chard had opened up a 12-10 lead.

Late in the second half, Chard found themselves becoming pinged by the referee for a growing list of infringements and eventually Joe Mainwaring was given a yellow card.

Chard continued to defend very well and were making it difficult for Winscombe, but the extra man played its part when the hosts went over for a try to make it 15-12.

A seven-man Chard scrum couldn’t hold the push from the eight-man Winscombe pack and conceded a penalty, which was successful from Merryfield.

Chard pressed relentlessly and were unlucky on several occasions not to get a third try, but time and a big defensive effort from Winscombe saw

Chard managed to hold onto the losing bonus point when the whistle finally went.

A high penalty count did not help Chard but they are certainly a much better looking team than they were a few weeks ago.

Chard travel to play Crediton on Saturday (3pm).

Somerset 2 South
Chard 2nds 43, Wiveliscombe 2nds 15

CHARD 2nd XV got back to winning ways with a very good win against a more than useful Wivey side.

Chard did not start the game well and their slow start was punished by the visitors, who raced into a 10-0 lead with two unconverted tries. 

Chard pulled themselves together and, with their aggressive pack leading the way, would go on to score seven tries and ensure a bonus point win.

Flanker Matt Tinley led the way with two tries and other scores came from Smith, Stabbins, Crouch, Strickland and Ingarfield.

Ieuan Watkins was in good form with the boot and added four conversions.

Wivey ended the game very strongly and added another try but the Chard defence was outstanding in the final quarter of the match and Chard were good value for their win.

Portland Phoenix 15, Chard 3rd XV 10

CHARD were invited to take a team to HMP Portland to play against the Portland Phoenix team, a team of young offenders who have been given the opportunity to play rugby as part of their rehabilitation. 

To be part of the rugby squad the players have to meet behaviour criteria and the scheme reportedly leads to 87% of those who have taken part in the rugby academy leaving Portland and not reoffending.

Chard battled hard and scored two tries but the hosts ran out winners on the day.

Women’s NC South West 2
Chard Ladies 12, Bideford Ladies 63

CHARD entertained Bideford in their first home league match, however, it was the sparkling Bideford backs who set the match alight, with a fine display of running rugby.

For the first quarter of the match, Chard showed early ascendancy, driving through the forwards and releasing the backs with Sarah Kneeshaw and Georgia Adams making telling breaks.

Kirsty Carlos, Lucy Gosden and Emma Harris held the strong Bideford scrum, and Kat Swain cleanly taking all lineout ball.

The first away try came following a scrum on the half way, when a two-to-one overlap allowed centre Kayleigh Mcdonald to score.

Gabby Hunkin scored in the corner after a series of Bideford throw-ins.
Chard then attacked from the kick-off but turnover ball saw number 8 Amber Hallman surge through to score.

The first half ended on a high, with Chard fly-half Natalia-Mia Roach crashing over from short range to make the half-time score 22-5 to Bideford.

Bideford took control after the break, despite Chard possibly having more possession with player of the match Elaine Stainer to the fore.

Tries came at regular intervals but Chard did not give up and Roach crashed over for Chard’s second try, converted by Adams.

The spirit of the Chard ladies showed through with Amelia Gilbert being awarded back of the match, and Sarah Jones forward of the match.