Western Counties West
Crediton 13, Chard 3

THIS game was played in the most atrocious conditions and both sides deserve credit for their effort and enthusiasm, writes Glyn Hughes.

They provided the crowd packed into the stand with such a committed performance in spite of the very heavy rain that fell throughout.

Chard played up the slope and against the elements in the first half and unfortunately failed to deal with the kick-off effectively. 

They attempted to run the ball and were put under heavy pressure. They lost the ball and conceded a penalty which was duly converted by full-back Oli Down.

Chard's tackling was immense throughout the game and the play of open-side flanker Jason Wright was absolutely superb .

Already without several key players because of injury, Chard were dealt further blows when the influential Scott Johnson and Joe Mainwaring both suffered injuries and had to be replaced in the first half.

With much of the play being in the Chard half it was no surprise when Down kicked another successful penalty to double his team's advantage.

However, Crediton earned the wrath of the referee and Charlie Roberts stepped up to kick the resultant penalty between the uprights to make it 6-3.

Soon after, Chard lost skipper Ryan Helliar to the bin for ten minutes following a series of offences and, with the extra man, Crediton managed to score the only try of the game following concerted pressure they forced their way over in the corner to make it 13-3 at half-time.

Despite the deficit, it was clear the game was there for the taking but Chard's tactical play was somewhat naïve and they spent far too much time trying to play rugby, a ploy which rarely gained them ground.

Several times, Chard put together a huge number of phases but it was always in their own 22metre area rather that at the other end of the pitch!

On the odd occasion that Chard got into the home 22 they were very close to scoring with wing Ross Colenso being stopped inches from the line in the final minutes. 

Any score would have given Chard at least a well deserved bonus point but it was not to be and, for the first time this season, Chard failed to take a point from a game.

Chard will be hoping that some of their injured players will be available for selection again soon and it surely can’t be long before Chard try out some of their talented youngsters in the crucial number ten shirt.

Chard are at home to Falmouth on Saturday (ko 3pm).

The 2nds and 3rds were without a game at the weekend and this week play away against Taunton 3rds and Wyvern 1st XV, respectively.