THE cricket season got up and running, and Chard were off to a flying start by beating Minehead – with bowler Chris Scott taking league record-equalling figures of 8-8 from 8.5 overs.

He claimed 6-22 the following week, as Chard looked like mounting a serious WEPL Somerset Division title challenge.

Ilminster made a slow start in Premier 2, but Louis Kraucamp’s stellar 105 (off 110 balls) helped them thump Shapwick & Polden.

North Perrott ended Chard’s winning start, but for much of the season it was a four-way promotion battle between Chard, Frome, Minehead and Perrott.

Perrott also moved to within two wins of playing at Lord’s, only for them to lose to Liphook & Ripsley (eventual runners-up) in the National Village Cup quarter-finals.

There was record heat and a record turnout (270 participants) for Chard Road Runners’ Forde Abbey 10k in July, which was won by Owen Astington, with Kate Drew the fastest female runner.

Former Holyrood Academy pupil Kitty Wells was in Uefa Women’s Champions League action with Cardiff Metropolitan University, while her namesake Hannah Wells, from Tatworth, became Under-14 longbow champion at the Archery GB Junior National Outdoor Championships... just eight weeks after getting started in the discipline!

August brought heartache for Ilminster CC, beaten by Bath in the SCB Major Cup final at the County Ground in Taunton.

Ilminster posted 145-6, and could almost taste the silverware going into the final over, only for Somerset player Tim Rouse to hit the last two deliveries of the match for four to snatch the cup away.

Chard ended their season in fifth place, the Somerset Division title going to North Perrott – sealed by Lorraine Szczepanski’s 6-7 from five overs at Staplegrove.

Chard did, nonetheless, enjoy a day to remember when Australian legend Merv Hughes brought his touring side to the club for a game against a host XI.

In Premier 2, Ilminster were left fuming after a controversial declaration by title rivals Lansdown, on 51-9, in order to deny them maximum bowling points.

Lansdown were docked points after the debacle, but still went on to claim the title and the sole promotion spot.

The Somerset Cricket League saw Ilminster 2nds, North Perrott 2nds and Ilminster 3rds all earn promotion.

Chard Under-13 Girls, meanwhile, ended the season by lifting the Lady Taverners Trophy at the final county festival of the summer at Wembdon CC.

The cricket season gave way to football, and Chard Town were looking impressive under new boss Jamie Manley, having started the new campaign with a 3-0 home win over Longwell Green Sports.

They then triumphed 3-2 at Cheddar, James Boyland bagging a brace, as a promotion challenge began to take shape.

Ilminster Town went unbeaten through to September 8, and a 3-2 defeat at Stockwood Green, and they kept things ticking over to end the year in mid-table; the highlight was perhaps a 1-0 win at pace-setters Fry Club, Taylor Jefferson on target.

Combe St Nicholas, now under the management of Darren Manley, are going similarly well in Division 3, and their young star Luke Manley ended the year with an England Schools squad call-up.

Chard Rugby looked set for a tougher time of it, conceding eight tries in their season opener at Wellington.

They picked up wins over Bideford, Falmouth and Paignton, but are currently just six points clear of the bottom two.

It’s been a hard start to the season for Chard Hockey Club’s teams, too, with the men’s 1sts and Chard A battling to keep their heads above water and the ladies XI just about managing on their return to Sedgemoor Division 1.

There was success for Ilminster Bowls Club member Oli Collins in October, as he was selected for the Under-18 England Academy squad – despite only being 13!

Two members of Chard Tennis Club won medals at the World Senior Team and Individual Championships – club chairman Jacky Boothman taking gold in the team event and Ellie Krocke in the individual.

Back in Somerset, Chard Town were continuing to build steam, Boyland hitting four and Max Westlake a hat-trick as the Robins battered Bristol Telephones 9-1 in November; Jamie Manley’s charges are still in the thick of the promotion chase.

And the first week in December brought a historic result for Chard Rugby Club’s Ladies: their first ever win in a competitive league match, 41-12 over Winscombe.

READ MORE: Sporting review of 2018 - part one