Regional 2 Tribute Southwest: Teignmouth 24-25 Chard RFC

AFTER a difficult start to the season this was a real morale booster for the Chard players who deserved to hold on for the narrowest of victories against a home side who have had a mixed season to date, writes Glyn Hughes.

That they were able to do so was due to a tremendous defensive display in the last quarter when they could easily have folded.

Chard got themselves in trouble early when they gave away several needless penalties and were then unable to deal with long hopeful kicks down field from the home side.

Under no pressure at all the Chard defensive back line allowed the ball to bounce first on three occasions when they could have comfortably taken the ball on the full. They got away with it twice but on the third occasion the hosts took full advantage and scored a converted try under the posts. 7-0

Chard responded well however and soon got back on level terms. Niall Crouch kicked to the corner and from a lineout they won good ball and drove Teignmouth back over their own line with Joe Mainwaring getting the touchdown and Crouch adding the extras. 7-7

Chard moved into the lead when improved handling from the Chard back division allowed Lewis Hole the chance to score and he did not disappoint. He broke through the first defensive tackle, kicked ahead before gathering the ball again to score in the right-hand corner. Crouch added the conversion points with a tremendous kick. 7-14

Chard held on to this lead until half time but probably regretted not taking a straightforward penalty with the last play of the half preferring to go for what proved to be an abortive attempt at a try.

Teignmouth had the better start to the second half and pinned Chard back close to their own line. With ten minutes of the half-gone Chard lost a player to the bin and conceded a penalty try as a direct consequence. 14-14

Crouch was having a good day with the boot for Chard, and he put his team 6 pts clear with two excellent penalties kicks within a few minutes of Teignmouth levelling things up. 14-20.

However, in this topsy turvey game the lead didn’t last long, and Chard missed four crucial tackles which allowed the home side to score a third converted try. 21-20

Chard have a young inexperienced side but who have genuine pace and skill and they moved into the lead when winger Finn Shoemark scored a fantastic try in the left-hand corner which although not converted put Chard ahead once again. 21-25

In the final quarter Chard were under severe pressure and it looked certain that Teignmouth would score the try they needed to win especially when Chard had another player yellow carded. 

They probably let Chard off the hook when they opted to convert a penalty instead of going for a try when they had Chard on the ropes because they would still need to score again.  24-25

This decision released Chard from the constant pressure on their own line and they defended superbly to hold on for a welcome victory.

The games don’t get any easier and Chard are at home to Topsham next Saturday who have had a good season to date following promotion last season. Kick off 2 30pm.