Western Counties West
Chard 31, Paignton 10

CHARD maintained their unbeaten home record with a win against Paignton, played in perfect conditions in front of a crowd of 200 on Saturday, writes Glyn Hughes.

The win was largey due to a purple patch late in the game, when they scored three of the best tries you are likely to see.

Despite the final scoreline, this game was very close until the final quarter, with Chard only leading 12-10 after 60 minutes.

The hosts, with several key players back after injury, started well and led after only four minutes, when some splendid play by the forwards set up Joe Mainwaring to score an unconverted try.

From the restart Chard failed to clear the ball properly, and it looked odds-on that Paignton would square things up.

But the hosts not only kept them out with some resolute defending for 10 minutes but went further ahead in their next excursion upfield, as Dave Biss forced his way over for a try converted by Niall Crouch.

However, another Chard mistake saw Dave Siddle crossed for a try converted by Mike Sandercock.

The score remained 12-7 at the break, and come the second half, Sandercock reduced the home side’s advantage to just two points with a well-struck penalty.

Emile Szydelko made a try-saving tackle to deny Sandcock, and almost immediately the momentum swung again, with Chard scoring the first of three fine tries.

Starting from deep, the ball found its way to winger Szydelko, who beat his opposite number, and ran in 50 metres for a wonderful try which he converted.

Then Billy Biss made ground before passing to Ben Stead, who created space for Szydelko, the winger going over for his second try within a few minutes.

Paignton looked shell-shocked and were left chasing shadows when right wing Ross Colenso showed his terrific potential, making a dynamic break to score a fifth try, which was again converted.

As well as the scorers mention must be made of scrum-half George Russo, another young player who had a very good game.

This was an excellent bonus point win for Chard, who must now surely trust that they can transfer their home form to the road.

Hopefully availability and players keeping free from injury will help them to start winning away from Essex Close.

Chard have a very young and inexperienced team, and mistakes will happen at times, but they are learning more and improving with every game.

This coming Saturday Chard travel to play Saltash, who were promoted into this division last season; this could well be the first time the teams have met.

Saltash have not had the best of starts to their league campaign but they have played several of the more fancied sides and only lost by two points to St Austell, so they are not to be underestimated.