Western Counties West
Chard 25, Tiverton 18

FOLLOWING the heavy defeat in the rearranged match at Teignmouth the previous weekend, Chard were keen to bounce back against local rivals Tiverton on Saturday, writes Glyn Hughes.

Former skipper Ryan Helliar was still sidelined because of concussion issues and is unlikely to be available again until the new year, but it was good to see winger Emile Szydelko on the bench following a long spell out injured.

The game was played on a really excellent surface and in perfect weather conditions.

The Chard forwards set up an early try when they won a penalty, and from the ensuing lineout they won good possession, setting up Adam Moore to go over from a well-rehearsed catch-and-drive.

Paul Nicholls just missed the conversion.

Tiverton were soon back in it and looked anything but a team at the foot of the table.

They had some big useful players in the pack and powerful running centres; Tivvy winger Tom Heard scored an unconverted try to level matters, and his team were now in the ascendancy.

Chard were finding it difficult to stop initial breaks and were spending too much time in their own half.

Visiting fly-half Matt Down made no mistake with two penalties, and the visitors were deservedly 11-5 ahead.

Chard came back into the game with the final move of the half, as outstanding utility back Ross Colenso scored a terrific opportunist try set up for him by Nicholls.

The conversion from the touchline was missed, so Tiverton led 11-10 at the break.

As well as Tiverton played in the opening half, Chard would have been disappointed with their performance.

Whatever was said during the interval certainly worked, and skipper Matt Tinley led from the front with a fine try.

Nicholls added the conversion and soon followed this up with a penalty which took Chard into a 20-11 lead.

Tiverton were still attacking well, and replacement Ollie King finished off a lovely passage of play to score under the posts, with Down’s conversion closing the gap to two points (20-18).

However, Charlie Roberts then ghosted through, and with the score at 25-18, Tiverton would need a converted try to share the spoils.

Tiverton efforts were not helped by yellow cards and injury but Chard had played really well in the second half, and they were in no mood to let Tiverton score again.

Chard: Ben Stead, Huw Edwards, Billy Brooks, Charlie Roberts, Ross Colenso, Niall Crouch, Paul Nicholls, Dave Biss, Ben Robinson, Luke Aplin, Max Gosden, Adam Moore, Matt Tinley (Capt) Jason Wright, Joe Mainwaring. Replacements: Warren Lewis, Emile Szydelko (both used), Jon Hendy (unused).

Chard travel to Cornwall this Saturday, to play Wadebridge Camels.