PUBLISHED: 15:00 07 January 2019
Jim Rutherford attacks for Winscombe against Chard (pic John Podpadec)
Winscombe had to settle for a losing bonus point after a 27-20 defeat at fellow strugglers Chard in the Tribute Western Counties West League.
The visitors began brightly and opened the scoring with a penalty from centre Sam Dearsley after Chard infringed at the breakdown in their 22.
But the home side quickly set up camp in Winscombe’s end and, after a period of sustained pressure, hooker Joe Mainwaring crashed over from close range.
The conversion was missed and the two sides then traded penalties, as Dearsley’s second effort from long range was answered by Niall Crouch from in front of the posts.
As half-time approached, it appeared as if Chard would take a narrow lead into the break, but they failed to deal with the restart and Winscombe too advantage of a five-metre scrum to move the ball quickly to winger Cameron Lapes, who drove to the line and twisted out of a tackle to touch down.
Dearsley’s conversion put Winscombe 13-8 up, but Chard dominated the start of the second half with a series of short-range drives, only to come up against some dogged defence.
The pressure eventually told as Mainwaring went in for his second try and Crouch converted to put Chard 15-13 up.
Two more Chard tries, from prop Dave Biss and wing Douglas Herbert, saw the gap grow to two full scores, but Winscombe had the better of the closing stages and flanker Andy Ball drove over in the corner before Dearsley’s conversion cut the gap to seven points.
After regaining possession from the restart, Winscombe again pressed for a score to draw level, moving the ball across the pitch in search of a gap in the home defence.
But Chard held on to secure the win and move to within a point of Winscombe in the table.
Winscombe are set to host high-flying St Austell, who inflicted a first defeat of the season on Sidmouth, next weekend.
P W D L F A Pts
Sidmouth 14 12 1 1 468 204 61
St Austell 15 12 0 3 347 206 59
Crediton 14 11 1 2 304 196 52
Wellington 14 10 1 3 407 194 48
Tiverton 15 8 1 6 319 259 41
Wadebridge Camels 15 7 0 8 320 399 35
Kingsbridge 15 6 1 8 312 268 34
Truro 15 6 2 7 307 321 33
Falmouth 15 6 1 8 258 341 30
Winscombe 14 5 0 9 239 364 26
Saltash 15 5 0 10 237 395 26
Chard 15 4 0 11 241 460 25
Bideford 15 3 1 11 255 293 20
Paignton 15 3 1 11 194 308 17
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