Regional 2 Tribute South West: Chard 31-48 Newton Abbot

IT was not a good day at the office for Chard as after a very strong start they went down to their Devon rivals who made the most of some very poor defensive play at times from the hosts who conceded two late tries in the first half and four more in the second period, writes Glyn Hughes.

To add to Chard’s woes the visitor’s kicker had a dream game when he landed two penalties from his own half and kicked all six conversions.

Chard scored five tries of their own and this is not the first time this season that Chard have scored that many tries and not won the game.

The one bonus point they did get was hardly what they were looking for prior to kick off when they would have been very hopeful of picking up five points in this match between teams at the wrong end of the table.

Chard started very well indeed and took the lead after just 6 minutes when skipper Luke Aplin forced his way over the line following a series of good driving plays from the forwards, the try was not converted but Chard were looking strong.

They emphasised their superiority by dominating the exchanges and after 15 minutes Matt Tinley crossed for try number which was converted by Niall Crouch.

Crouch was getting Chard into good positions with some astute kicking, and they should have scored another try but the ball was deemed to have been held up so the ‘score’ was disallowed.

At this stage there was only one team in it and the crowd which included a number of former players who had enjoyed an excellent pre match lunch in the clubhouse were sure there would only be one winner, but it was not to be!

With nearly 30 minutes gone Chard started to concede several penalties in a very short space of time and the visitors were galvanised when they kicker converted two monster kicks from his own half.

Almost immediately a chip ahead bounced awkwardly for Chard but kindly for Newton Abbot and they scored a converted try under the posts and suddenly having looked completely out of it were now in the lead.

In a frantic end to the half Chard went back into the lead when Lewis Hole ran a great line to score a try under the posts converted by Crouch. Within seconds of the restart Chard missed a few straightforward tackles in midfield which were punished when the visitors broke through for another score to give them a 1pt advantage. 

Chard continued to make a series of basic errors in the opening 20minutes of the second half and three converted tries in quick succession put the visitors ahead by 19pts to 41pts.

Both sides had a player red carded when surely a yellow card and ten minutes in the bin would have been the sensible option for the officials.

Far too late to win the game but Chard played much better in the final ten minutes and scored tries through Emile Szdelko and Charlie Tribble with Crouch adding one conversion. Newton Abbot had the final say however with a late try which sealed a victory that had looked highly unlikely for most of the first half.

Not easy for Chard at the moment who play North Petherton away next Saturday with kick off at 3pm.