Regional 2 South West: Chard RFC 24-30 Sidmouth RFC

CHARD were forced to make a host of changes to their squad for a variety of reasons but they still fielded a very competitive side and were looking for a big improvement from their performance earlier in the season when thy had lost by 38-10 at Sidmouth.

Chard kicked off but the strong and powerful Sidmouth team showed what they were about by crossing early on for a well worked unconverted try,

Chard were struggling to settle and were caught napping on several occasions which helped the visitors to score a 2nd try converted by Dan Retter

Chard were getting back into the game but Sidmouth were defending well. Eventually however their strong defensive play folded under pressure  and Oscar Anderson crossed for a try which he converted himself to get his team back into the game

The home crowd were being well entertained by some exciting running rugby from both sides and notable performances came from Garion Woodcock, Matt Tinley and Fin Shoemark.

Shoemark scored the try of the game with an amazing run from his own 22 area and managed to jink and sprint past several players before touching down.

Sidmouth were on balance the stronger unit in the opening half and led by 12-25 having increased their advantage with further scores.

The Chard forwards who had on the whole been matched by Sidmouth early in the game  managed to get the upper hand in the 2nd half  and Chard crossed for two more tries with Jack Elliot getting the ball down after the Sidmouth pack had been pushed back over their own line and Anderson darting over for his 2nd try which he again converted himself.

By scoring  four tries and being within seven points  of the winners Chard managed to at least get two vital bonus points out of the game but they will no doubt reflect on several other missed opportunities which if taken could have seen them take even more out of the game.

Next Saturday Chard entertain Crediton who had a good win last weekend when they beat St Austell at home.

Sadly Chard 2nd xv had no game last weekend after their opponents  Morganians conceded the game because they were unable to field a team because of a lack of players.

This is becoming a really worrying trend  in the lower leagues and it looks likely that several teams may well fold at the end of the year. It is a sad situation not only for the clubs involved but also for their opponents who have another week off without a game.

Chard have no game next weekend as it was a spare weekend but are at  home to wells on March 4.