Western Counties West
Falmouth 29, Chard 21

CHARD put in a good display away to Falmouth on Saturday, but with no points gained they slipped into the league's bottom two, writes Paul Gammage.

Falmouth is one of the longest journey for a club that sometimes struggles to send out a strong side on the road.

The hosts kicked off, and soon a pattern emerged – the visiting forwards dominating the home pack.

But Chard are prone to failing to clear their lines when under pressure, and a missed kick to touch enabled Falmouth to run the ball back, and wing forward Dalton went over for a try, converted by scrum-half Matt Horton.

Billy Brooks was then shown a yellow card for an apparent tip tackle, and after 20 minutes prop Tacchi went over for the hosts’ second try, again converted by Horton.

A rising penalty count was not helping the Chard cause, as they went in at half time 14-0 down.

After the restart, a Chard break ended with Joe Mainwaring running clear to score, and Niall Crouch added the extras; the travelling fans were hoping for an upset, especially as Falmouth had a man in the sin bin.

But then the hosts were gifted an interception try, scored by centre Penry and converted by Horton, and it was back to the drawing board for Chard at 21-7.

The visitors’ forwards continued to dominate, while Crouch saw a penalty from 48 metres out fall just short.

The deficit was extended to 26-7 when Falmouth replacement Barkwell went over for an unconverted try, but Chard hit back when their pack rolled towards the line and young scrum-half George Russo dived over – Crouch adding a difficult conversion.

But, once again, Chard allowed their hosts to extend their lead, conceding a penalty in their own 22 and Horton nailing the kick.

There was time for the visitors to win a penalty lineout and then a scrum, from where Dave Biss went over and Crouch converted.

Eight points behind, Chard pressured from the kick-off, looking to win a penalty, but they just ran out of time.

It was a great effort from everyone who made the trip, and it very nearly brought some desperately needed points.

Chard should take confidence from this, but confidence needs to be turned into points very soon, with Bideford winning on Saturday to bump Chard down to second bottom in the table.

This coming Saturday Chard are at home to ninth-placed Kingsbridge (ko 2.30pm), and the players and coaches would appreciate a big crowd for what is a crucial match at Essex Close.


Somerset 2 South
Burnham-on-Sea II 19, Chard II 38

CHARD’S Wing Commanders were fast out of the blocks on Saturday, earning a penalty try after six minutes, writes Gavin Smillie.

Hosts Burnham hit back and levelled the score with a converted try, but then Ben Partridge broke through a number of tackles before offloading to the pack, and the ball was worked back to Partridge to score.

Shortly after the restart Jim Grossy gathered an interception on the halfway line and he sprinted in under the posts, Sam Mouland converting to make the score 19-7.

Less than a minute later Josh Strickland and Benn Mainwaring broke the Burnham line, freeing Tom Monaghan to run the ball in, Mouland adding the extras.

Full-back Gavin Watts then made a direct run from deep, crossing the line under the posts, and with Mouland’s conversion the half time score was 33-7.

The hosts made a flying start to the second half, scoring their second try, but despite Chard going down to 13 men they struggled to breach an outstanding visiting defence.

Benn Mainwaring crossed to bring the score to 38-12, but Burnham had the final word with a converted try.

Chard were happy with the five-point win, closing the gap to fourth spot, but they must get control of their penalty count and play for the full 80 minutes if they wish to beat Morganians at home next week (ko 2.15pm).

Chard 3rds are also at home this Saturday, against Midsomer Norton 3rds (ko 2.15pm).