Women’s South West South 2 (1)
Bideford 34, Chard 20

CHARD Ladies returned to form, after a disappointing 60-12 loss to Withycombe, in a pulsating match which could have gone either way, writes Dave Webb.

Both sides were intent on playing attacking rugby and, after five minutes, Bideford went ahead when Nicola Chadring crashed over from a 5m scrum.

Chloe Paydon extended the hosts’ lead after a three-on-one overlap, but then Chard began to play their most expansive rugby of the season.

The forwards made holes in the home defence and the ball was shipped out to release the backs, with Jade Mowlem cutting through only to be tackled just short.

Paydon then crossed again for Bideford, giving them a flattering 17-0 lead.

And now Chard fought back, laying siege to the hosts’ try-line and Megan Armstrong barging over.

The pressure was starting to tell, and following a penalty Mowlem darted through to make the half-time score 17-10.

The visitors’ defence was tighter after the interval, and with their powerful forwards to the fore, a series of powerful drives led to Emma Harris going over to make it 17-15.

But then the pace of the young Bideford backs made the difference, with two breakaway tries and another from a tap penalty.

Although they were 34-15 down, Chard continued to attack, and they produced the move of the match, covering the entire width of the field, as Kirsty Sue fed Mowlem to score her second try.

This was a fitting finish to an exciting and sporting game of rugby enjoyed by all.

Player of the match: Yaz Price; forward of the match: Megan Armstrong; back of the match: Jade Mowlem

This Saturday, Chard play their final game of the season at home to Minehead Barbarians (ko 3pm).