The Sidmouth senior rugby squad completed pre-season preparation for the coming Western Counties West league campaign with a 100% record. Following a 19-17 win at Honiton to retain the David Turner Cup and a 19-0 home win against Topsham, they produced a convincing performance to beat one-league-higher Chard at the Blackmore Field.


The game was played in four quarters to allow coaches to review play and make substitutions to give all squad members a good run out.


Sidmouth made a flying start with a try in the first minute. They regained possession straight from the kick off and the forwards drove into the 22 with two quick phases before releasing the ball to the backs. Swift and accurate handling gave Sam Meadham space on the right wing to crash over in the corner despite the close attention of the full back.


Sidmouth were soon back on the attack. When Sam Richardson made a good break from the base of a scrum 30 metres out, the forwards were quickly in support to drive forward into the 22. When the ball was moved to the blindside of a ruck, Sam Meadham was on hand again to finish off a slick handling move.


Just before the end of the first quarter, Meadham completed his hattrick on the end of another good handling move after the pack had driven forward from a lineout just outside the Chard 22. None of the tries were converted making the score 15-0.


Chard came into the game more in the second quarter and enjoyed good territorial advantage. They were eventually rewarded with a try from close range following a quick tap penalty. The conversion was unsuccessful leaving the halftime score at 15-5.


From the restart kick, a crunching tackle by Sam Sowden enabled Sidmouth to regain possession and take the early initiative. When Dan Retter dummied his way through a gap following a ruck inside the Chard 22, Tom Seward provided the link to send Luke Wells-Burr in for an unconverted try.


Chard reduced the arrears when the outside centre produced a strong run to take two defenders over the line with him. The try was unconverted.


In the final minute of the quarter, Luke Wells-Burr fielded a clearance kick near halfway and beat four defenders in a fine individual run to score near the posts. Dan Retter kicked the first conversion of the game to put his side 27-10 up at the final break.


Sidmouth scored straight from the restart kick, when the ball was moved quickly to the backs. Rory O’Brien made a clean break at outside centre and outpaced the cover to touch down wide out on the left.


Another try soon followed from a supoerb handling move started inside the Sidmouth half. The ball was moved to the left, where Tom Seward made good ground into the 22. When he was stopped, the ball was quickly recycled and moved to the right. Charlie Cotton finished the move off in the right corner.


In the final minute, Chard were rewarded for a long period of pressure when the number 3 crashed over from close range. The conversion made the final score 37-17.