Regional 2 Tribute South West: Chard 39-13 North Petherton

After a very frustrating performance at Newton Abbot last week Chard were determined to put things right against local rivals North Petherton and they did so in style, writes Glyn Hughes.

It was an excellent five try display to gain maximum points and a much-needed victory which was enjoyed by the good-sized crowd.

Things didn’t start too well though with the visitors making the most of any early mistake to score a try in the opening minutes.

It was soon to become evident that the Chard pack would totally dominate the set plays but would have to beware of the quick thinking ‘Pethy’ backs who clearly liked to run the ball as much as they could.

Chard fly half Niall Crouch got his side on the scoreboard with a penalty after 6 minutes and could have had another a few minutes later but Chard decided to opt for a scrummage and this led to Sam Mouland scoring under the posts with Crouch adding the simple conversion to put Chard ahead for the first time.

Shortly before the interval Ben Stead finished off a nice movement when he scored close to the posts for a try again converted by Crouch which would surely give Chard a very comfortable half time lead.

Chard are not great at exciting from restarts however and almost immediately North Petherton hit back to reduce the deficit with an unconverted try of their own.

In the second half the game that had become a typically feisty local encounter saw players from both sides sent to the bin, but Chard really dominated the half and scored three more tries.

Petherton just could not cope with the Chard forwards anywhere near their own line and some astute kicking from Crouch put them under a lot of pressure.

Crouch added another penalty before the impressive Dean Richards crossed for Chards third try and this was quickly followed by another from George Russo which ensured the bonus point. Russo by this time had been switched to number 9 with Ben Fenton making a welcome return to the team for the final quarter.

Crouch converted one of the tries to put the result beyond doubt but there was still time for Ross Colenso to make a well-timed interception and run in a 5th try for Chard which was thoroughly deserved.

This was really a spirited and much improved display by Chard with their young squad getting better all the time. Alfred Busby has made great progress as a lock forward and Jacob Bond on the wing is one of several others who have massive potential and played strongly in this game.

There are no league matches next Saturday and Chard resume their campaign with an away game at Sidmouth on 17th February.