Western Counties West

Chard 20, Penryn 10

CHARD took their unbeaten run to six matches, with a 20-10 victory at home to Penryn on Saturday, writes Glyn Hughes.

This was the first ever match between Chard and the Cornish side, but several of the visiting players looked familiar, having signed on from St Ives following the sad demise of that club.

Penryn started on the front foot and certainly looked dangerous when they ran the ball.

Indeed the hosts had a big let-off early on, when but for a forward pass Penryn would have strolled in under the posts.

The first quarter was fairly evenly contested but the visitors took the lead when Chard failed to find touch from a penalty and the ensuing counter-attack took play right up to the home try-line, where an unfortunate error allowed scrum-half Sam Carter to score close to the posts.

Carter converted his own try to give his team a 7-0 advantage.

Penryn gave away a series of penalties but two of them were reversed when Chard had too much to say to the referee, resulting in Chard going down to 14 men for 10 minutes.

The second of these penalties was in a kickable position, and Carter added the three points to put the away side 10 points clear.

Chard came back well but despite some penetrating runs from full-back Ben Stead and a good all-round display from the forwards, Penryn held on to their lead until the interval.

Not for the first time in recent weeks, Chard really dominated the second half.

One of their strengths this season is their ability to wear their opponents down, and a lot of this is due to the hard work of the forwards and a very strong replacements bench which allows players to be rotated throughout the match.

Dave Biss, Luke Aplin, Joe Mainwaring, Liam Mustchin and Ben Robinson all did a terrific job.

Penryn simply could not cope, and the hosts pulled seven points back when they were awarded a penalty try after several illegal attempts were made to stop their momentum.

The visitors also had two players sent to the bin during the second half, which hardly did them any favours.

Chard went into the lead with a superb bit of play involving fly-half Ben Thomas and winger Charlie Roberts.

Chard had a ‘free’ play following the award of a penalty, and a well-judged high kick to the corner from Thomas was superbly taken by Roberts, who out jumped several defenders to score an unconverted try in the corner.

With the forwards dominant, Chard decided on several occasions to go for tries rather than kick penalties, but when this proved fruitless they turned to the boot of Niall Crouch, who put the ball between the posts for 15-10.

In the final quarter the hosts scored their third try to put the result beyond doubt, and it came from some quick and alert play from centre Billy Brooks.

Crouch mis-timed a through kick behind the Penryn defence and it looked to everyone except Brooks that the ball would go beyond the dead ball line.

The visitors hesitated, Brooks didn’t and his unconverted score also denied Penryn a losing bonus point.

Chard: Stead, Roberts, Brooks, Crouch, Edwards, Thomas, Nicholls, Helliar, Wright, Tinley (c), Gosden, Moore, Mustchin, Mainwaring, Biss. Replacements (all used): Aplin, Robinson, Russo.

There are no league fixtures for Chard teams next weekend, although the 2nd XV are looking to get a home friendly fixture under lights on Friday evening (ko 7.30pm).

Chard 1st XV's next league game is away at Saltash on Saturday, November 9 (2.30pm).

This coming Saturday, all are welcome to the clubhouse to watch the World Cup final between England and South Africa on the big screen (breakfast available).