Western Counties West
Kingsbridge 31, Chard 7

WITH such a bad record away from home for several years now it would be easy to say that this was yet another poor performance on the road but the reality was quite different and coach Jim Wagstaff was able to take a lot of positives from the performance, writes Glyn Hughes.

Chard had to cope with five of last week’s pack, including the whole of the front row, not being available because of injury and, with several others already out receiving treatment, Chard fielded the most inexperienced group of players ever to have represented the club at this level.

To their credit they gave everything for the team and put in a creditable performance .

It was a strange situation because for the first time in years the strength of the team for this match was in the backs.

George Russo at scrum half and centre Gab Riley were particularly impressive but the outstanding performance of the day came from flanker Jason Wright who was terrific throughout and he, Max Gosden and skipper Helliar did their best to rally their team.

Chard really struggled in the set piece and it was no surprise that two of the Kingsbridge tries came from push overs and a third came from a rolling maul.

Chard played against the elements and the slope in the opening half and did well to keep the score to 19-0 at the break.

Chard hopes were raised at the beginning of the second half when Emile Szydelko used his pace to get a fine try converted by Niall Crouch but, despite an heroic performance, the home forwards had the edge throughout in the pack and with so much ball it was inevitable that they would eventually score again.

This very young team may have lost the match but they picked up some valuable experience.

Next Saturday Chard are without a game so hopefully this will give players the chance to recover for the restart of the league programme on Saturday, October 20 when Chard host Paignton

Somerset 2S 
Chard 2nds 17 Burnham-on-Sea 2nds 39

Chard suffered a double whammy in that not only did they suffer the knock on effects of losing so many players to the first team but Burnham were probably much stronger than expected as they had no first team game on Saturday.

It was a real ding dong affair with the ball being thrown about well by both teams in the first quarter.

Burnham took the lead with an early unconverted try but Chard were soon into their stride and it was no surprise when hooker Ben Partridge got Chard on the scoresheet with his try being converted by Read.

Burnham edged ahead with two more unconverted tries before the break.

In the second half Chard hit back with a try from Dunn again converted by Read and this was soon followed by a successful penalty kick from Newman.

Chard, with just the bare 15 players, suffered a big blow when Read and Wilson had to leave the field with injuries and Burnham were able to exploit the gaps by running the ball wide, scoring a couple more tries to seal victory.

Somerset 3S
Cheddar Valley 2nds 54, Chard 3rds 7

Again Chard III came home with a score that appears to tell a story but this time you would be mistaken to think they were thrashed.

Although the first half was a bit disjointed, when the Chard boys kept the ball in hand they made good progress up the hill and when defending they forced the hosts to make errors. 

The scrummaging was an equal contest with both teams winning their own, even with Cheddar having the advantage of the considerable slope with Keith Milton, Jason Hole and Gavin Smillie holding the front row positions, Eric Singleton and Mark Armstrong in the engine room and Stu Sugar, Tom Spurway and the resilient Mick Duffy making up the eight.

Cheddar had obviously done their research pre-match and used the same tactic as Wyvern had used the week before and used young fast players to run with the ball - this worked as they crossed the line eight times giving them the bonus point win.

Chard’s score came from a sustained period of pressure with Spurway and Andrew McKerrow coming close but it was Chard’s scrum-half David Tucker that managed to ground the ball and Wayne Lewis slotted the conversion.

Captain Kevin George kept the supply going to the backs with Owen Fursman, Josh 'Gloria' Esteves and Michael Burden all making good runs throughout.

The second half was a better competition but the home team had opted to go uncontested in the scrums and took a big advantage away from the Chard pack.

The biggest credit of the day goes to the man in the middle, a Cheddar player who took the whistle for the first time to ensure the game could take place, and what luck he had with 30 players who were out to play rugby making it a truly social game in spectacular surroundings.