Western Counties (W)

Wiveliscombe 17, Chard 41

A GOOD crowd of over 200 turned up for this local derby and Chard skipper Matt Tinley got things right even before the match kicked off by winning the toss and electing to play up the slope in the first half, writes Glyn Hughes.

Despite the loss of Roberts and Moore to injury, Chard fielded a strong side and welcomed Gab Riley back into the squad.

Chard started the game really brightly and Wivey were forced to defend well.

The visitors looked certain to score in the top right hand corner but, with the line at their mercy, gave away a needless penalty and the chance was lost.

Chard certainly had the upper hand in the first quarter but the hosts know how to make the most of the slope and opened the scoring in their first excursion into the Chard half.

Chard winger Emile Szydelko was sin-binned for a late tackle and from the following plays the home side drove the Chard pack towards their own line and lock forward Rory Stone got the try which fly-half George Rowe converted.

Soon afterwards, in their second visit to the Chard 22, Wivey organised a well planned set move from a penalty and prop Matt Ellis scored under the posts. Rowe converted to extend the lead to 14-0.

Despite the scoreline, Chard looked the stronger side and were right back in the mix when centre Niall Crouch burst through a gap to score under the posts.

Paul Nicholls converted to reduce the deficit to 14-7.

Chard missed a late penalty to reduce the lead further but, with the score remaining the same at the interval, Chard knew the game was there to be won.

It can be a nightmare for a tiring side to play up the slope in heavy testing conditions and so it proved for the home team in the second half as Chard ran in six tries.

The visitors brought on all three of their replacements at the start of the second half and rotated several other players during the half. Chard as a result looked fitter, faster and stronger.

Within minutes Billy Brooks had crossed for an unconverted try and George Russo added another following a terrific drive by the Chard pack. This score put Chard in front for the first time (14-17).

Wivey could not be faulted for effort or commitment but they were simply outplayed in the second half and were probably grateful that Chard kicker Nicholls was not on the field, which would no doubt have added to their woes.

The dangerous Huw Edwards added the bonus point fourth try for Chard but Wivey remained hopeful of a comeback when a penalty from Rowe made the score 17-22.

Chard were not to be denied, however, and further tries from Ben Robinson, Brooks (converted by Thomas) and a penalty try gave Chard a splendid win and the double over their local rivals.

Six yellow cards (three to each team) were rather surprisingly issued during the match but, as well as the five-point victory, there were lots of positives to take out of the game for Chard.

The back three of Stead, Szydelko and Edwards looked sharp, as did centre Brooks

The pack again looked good in the tight with Biss, Aplin and Gosden prominent and Mainwaring having his best game to date but clearly work still needs to done to improve the lineout.

On Saturday, Chard are away again, this time to Cullompton, fighting for their lives towards the bottom of the table. Kick-off is 2.15pm.

Chard: Stead, Edwards, Brooks, Crouch, Szydelko, Thomas, Nicholls, Aplin, Robinson , Biss, Tinley,Gosden, Elliot, Wright, Helliar; Replacements: Russo, Mainwaring, Riley

Somerset 2 (S)

Chard II 26, Wyvern 0

In a good week for availability, Chard put out over 60 players this Saturday and the 2nd XV coaches Tim Morris and Andrew Mosley had the toughest job of the day choosing the starting line-up.

Both teams had early chances but the deadlock was finally broken when clinical passing allowed Sam Mouland to open his account with an unconverted try out wide.

Wyvern gave their all from the restart and Chard had battle to keep them out, but the defence stood strong.

With another structured phase of play, Chard worked the defence and Mouland eventually broke over the line, scoring between the posts giving him the easiest kick to convert bringing the score to 0-12 at half-time.

Chard only made two changes to start the second half, young Rob Sanderson given his debut and Matt Coombes taking up a position on the other wing.

Chard continued in the same way as the first half but errors began to creep in allowing Wyvern off the hook on more than one occasion.

Wyvern choosing to go uncontested in the scrum was probably their best tactical move of the game, but Chard still managed to keep the pressure on and Jamie Prior scored their third try which Mouland converted.

The return of Luke Carslake to the team was a boost to the squad and, despite not playing for a season, he managed to preform well for nearly two minutes before the referee asked him to rest for ten following a high tackle.

His team mates rallied and Andrew McKerrow got the bonus point try with a lovely break out wide. Mouland added the extras to make the final score 26-0.

Team: J Nicholls (captain) B Partridge, B Lock, C Moon, B Sugar, K Smillie, C Young, W Lewis, T Gibbs, S Mouland, D Lock, J Prior, J Gosling, G Watts, D Baker. Subs: O Justice, A McKerrow, L Carslake, R Sanderson, A Lewis, G Smillie, M Coombes.

Chards 2nd XV host Burnham-on-Sea next Saturday, kicking off at 2.30pm.