Western Counties (W)

Falmouth 12, Chard 12

BILLY Brookes scored a try wide out on the left with the last play of the game to give Chard a well deserved draw at Falmouth, writes Glyn Hughes.

A conversion would have won the game for Chard but the very difficult kick was narrowly missed by Niall Crouch.

Chard had to make five changes from the squad that played against Cullompton the previous week but were still able to put out a useful team.

Chard surprisingly played down the slope in the opening half and the game was fairly even in the first quarter.

Chard then lost a bit of momentum when Jason Wright was sin-binned for apparently failing to release in the tackle.

This gave Falmouth some hope and, after some forward pressure, they went ahead with an unconverted try from scrum-half Tom Spiller.

Huw Edwards and Charlie Roberts both went close for Chard but basic handling errors close to the try line saw the chances missed.

The Chard pack, with the experienced front row of Luke Aplin, Ben Robinson and Dave Biss very prominent, were gradually putting their side on top but Falmouth kept the lead until the break.

Early in the second half, Chard were again guilty of poor handling and, from a knock-on, Falmouth's fly-half hacked the ball downfield and home centre Rory Pugh won the race for the touchdown.

To add insult to injury as far as Chard were concerned, Matt Horton added the extras to make the score 12-0 to the hosts.

For the rest of the game, however, Chard were well on top despite playing up the hill and Falmouth rarely got out of their own half.

Adam Moore was winning good lineout ball and the whole pack were giving their opponents a torrid time in both set and loose play.

Something had to give and, such was the Chard superiority, they decided not to kick a penalty goal in front of the posts but to take a scrummage.

It proved to be a brave but correct decision when, after several plays, skipper Max Gosden drove over for a try which was converted by Crouch.

It was all Chard in the final quarter and they appeared to have scored under the posts but the excellent referee deemed the ball was held up so the 'score' was not allowed.

Falmouth had lost a few players to the bin for technical infringements in their attempts to keep Chard out but eventually the never-say-die attitude of Brooks paid off when he got the late try.

As pleased as Chard were to get the two points for the draw they know that they had many opportunities to win the game and really should have done so.

It is interesting to note that this result ended a run of 14 away losses on the trot for Chard.

Their last away win was against Truro in April 2018.

On Saturday, Chard are at home to Kingsbridge (3pm).

Kingsbridge are currently one of the best form teams in the league so it should be a really good game.

Chard team: Baker, Edwards, Brooks, Roberts, Prior, Crouch, Colenso, Gosden (c), Wright, Lock, Moore, Lewis, Biss, Robinson, Aplin; Replacement: Moon (for Lock)