Rare defeat for Bideford as Chard close the promotion gap

North Devon Gazette

Bideford lost at home for only the second time this season in Western Counties West when Chard defeated them 26-14 in a rearranged fixture.Â

Chard are lagging behind the top three in the promotion race at the moment and until the latter stages of the second half, a terrific game was there to be won by either side with the score at 15-allÂ

Ten minutes from time, Chard hit the front with a try and this was followed by a second score virtually on the last whistle, which denied Bideford what would have been a deserved losing bonus point.Â

Harry Jones with a try and Reece Pearn with a penalty were the Bideford scorers in a running total of 14-8 to Chard at half-time.Â

Pearn narrowed the gap to three points with a second penalty and midway through the half Mark Lee knocked over a monster effort from 45 metres to leave it all square.Â

It stayed 14-all until Chard’s double strike late in the day. Alex Priest won man of the match for Bideford due to his high tackle count.Â

Bideford, who are eighth in the table, run into former coach Simon Morrell this Saturday when Newton Abbot visit Torridgeside.Â

Morrell’s current charges overwhelmed Penryn 55-14 last time out in another rearranged game.Â

South Molton return to the Devon One promotion race this Saturday when they entertain Salcombe at Unicorn Park.Â

The Men in Black (63pts) are third in the latest table and have a game in hand on Exeter Saracens (67) and New Cross (69).Â

Torrington, who had no game last Saturday, make the long trip to Plymouth to face the Old Technicians.Â

The next generation of local rugby talent provided a glimpse into a bright future, as the Bideford Under-10s entertained their visitors from Barnstaple on a crisp winter morning.Â

A fast-pace game provided plenty of tremendous rugby and a special moment for young Oliver Bloodworth, who raced through the Barum defence for an outstanding try. Â

Captain William Slee led his team with excellent encouragement and the determined running of Jacob and Alice typified a fine display from Bideford.Â