Regional 2 Tribute South West: Chard 35-37 Wadebridge Camels

CHARD Rugby Club held a minute’s silence before kick off in memory of Robert Morgan a former 1st xv skipper, Club Chairman and President who recently passed away.

He had been President from 1982 until 2022 and was a remarkable supporter of the club.

This was a great game for the neutral and with Chard leading 27-13 at the break a home win looked the most likely outcome but a converted try with the virtually the last play of the game gave Wadebridge a narrow win which did not look on the cards at half time.

Despite at least five members of last year’s awesome forwards not being available including their three lineout jumpers because of retirement and a wedding Chard played really well and the effort made by all the players could not be faulted.

Chard welcomed back fly half Niall Crouch and he showed the value of having a good tactical kicker in the side with a man of the match performance.

Chard started brilliantly and scored two tries in the first four minutes with the touch downs coming from scrum half George Russo and Joe Mainwaring. Crouch kicked one conversion to put Chard 12pts clear.

Wadebridge were no pushover and they responded well with an unconverted try and a penalty goal before Matt Tinley got Chard 3rd try which Crouch converted before then goaling a penalty from within his own half!

Winger Emile Szydelko then intercepted a pass in his own half and raced 70m to get a 4th (bonus point) try for Chard which although not converted put Chard ahead at this point by 27 – 8. Russo, Crouch, Ross Colenso and matt Tinley all had particularly good games.

Just prior to the break Wadebridge who were a useful running side reduced the arrears at the break to 27-13 with their 2nd try.

As far as Chard were concerned the opening minute of the 2nd half was one to forget as they had prop Charlie Tribble sent off for an illegal tackle and lost a player to injury.

Wadebridge took full advantage immediately and crossed for a converted try to bring themselves within 7pts.

Crouch succeeded with another penalty but very soon the scores were level with the visitors getting a converted try and a penalty.

A yellow card reduced Chard to 13 for the final ten minutes but somehow, they managed to find some energy and should have been awarded a penalty try after Wadebridge gave away several blatant penalties on their own line to stop Chard scoring.

However, they did lose someone to the bin and Matt Tinley managed to cross for a 5th try with minutes to go. 35-30 with 3 minutes to go. 

Sadly for Chard a converted try with the last play gave Wadebridge a win that had looked highly unlikely at the break.

Next week Chard are away at Burnham.