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RUGBY: Chard 2nds battle to the end
8:59am Monday 6th January 2014 in Sport
CHARD 2nds lost 29-7 to their North Petherton counterparts in Tribute Somerset 1 on Saturday - but the game was much tighter than the result suggests.
This was a tough, competitive game throughout with the score excessively flattering the hosts.
Chard started brightly, attacking from the off and testing the home defence deep in their 22.
A 15 minute period of pressure created three clear-cut scoring chances which unfortunately for Chard went begging.
That was partly due to stoical defending by the hosts and partly due to a pass or two given too late. It was frustrating and galling as Chard were due some reward for their purpose and enterprise.
North Petherton, on the receiving end for the first quarter, then got some momentum going and put pressure on Chard in their own half.
Solid defending denied them, but they persisted in a period where they dominated territory and possession.
Eventually the pressure told and they crossed the visitors line twice before half time. Both tries were unconverted to leave the score 10-0 at the break.
Petherton were first out of the blocks in the second half, where much of the action took place in the Chard half of the field.
Again Chard's defensive effort and competitive spirit attracted plaudits. Notable tackling from Billy Brookes and Chris Doel stood out, but every man did his bit.
The size and weight of the home pack was a significant advantage for them, with Chard having the smallest pack in the league.
Despite the disadvantage, the Chard pack competed heroically and in the scrums were noticeably in the ascendancy - a fact frequently commented upon by the home supporters.
At length the bulk factor began to produce results for the hosts who kept the ball tight and rumbled over the Chard line from close range to seal the game.
The never-say-die spirit of the visitors continued to the end and they were eventually rewarded. Young fly half Sam Mouland dived over from close range following good field position earned by the pack.