Sunday 1st August saw the final round of the National Touch Series and the Manchester based crew with many none-Manchester based players charge down to Oxford to challenge for the series title spot.
With Lau joining the chargers for a second time to play against her home fledgling team, the first game promised to be an opener with inside information to add to our playbook.
Game 1 - London Eagles
The Eagles weren’t soaring high enough to start their day only managing to break through our defence two times, as the chargers put scorers against them, the first 3 coming from Kangy's hattrick with her secure hands on the wing and her trademark quick step. Bailey, Burrows and Wakeham also added their marks to our tally.
Final score: 6-2 Win
Game 2 - Cheltenham Jaguars
With the team now settled in to their pods and carrying our first game points under our belts, heads were held high with positivity as we trekked across to field 5 for our second game of the day to face the Cheltenham Jaguars.
Another strong performance from the team with Burrows and Kang adding more to their tallies and Redfern (S), Lau and Redfern (B) joining them on the score board.
Final score: 6-3 Win
Game 3 - Banbury Saxons
A greasy ball following the intermittent drizzle and feeling the nerves a little in game 3 as the pressure of the show pitch took its toll, mistakes started to appear and our error rate went up.
Banbury were driving hard and fast and their momentum was hard to tame. They broke through our defence with a well executed long ball out to their wing that even Kangy couldn’t chase down.
Chargers were trailing for the first time in the day. With minutes to spare we needed to pull something out of the bag. A strong drive and transition, and a ball out to Beth on the wing, under pressure as she was chased down by a hungry male, landed perfectly in her hands and grounded in the corner to bring the scores equal.
A major shoulder injury meant we lost Wakeham, so lots or re-planning to do on the run. Some excellent medical work done by teammate Haslett to pop the shoulder back in - wishing you a speedy recovery, Owen, and thanks for your support from the subs box whilst in your sling.
With seconds to spare, and as the hooter sounded, Banbury came back with another threat and almost scored but Sage’s chase down saved the day - redeeming herself from earlier 😉.
Final Score: 1-1 Draw
Topping the pool table with 10 points the chargers were through to the cup quarter finals.
Game 4 - Oxford Touch (Cup Quarter Final)
On pitch 2 to play Oxford the scores didn’t disappoint as another 6 trys were racked up.
Pam sneaking through in the corner to give Kangy our first point of the match.
A low scoring game, with it being just 1-0 at Half time
The second half didn't disappoint though, as Chargers went up a notch.
A long ball to Beth on left wing from Burrows started the flurry of scores.
Cropper scooped through, to give Lawrence his first of the day
A well executed scoop, and patience from Redfern (S) to put in young Burrows.
A quickie, dummy and dive from Haslett gave us our 5th, before Haslett scooped through to put Bannister on the scoreboard as she dotted down in the corner.
Final Score: 6-2 Win
Game 5 - Cheltenham Tigers (Cup Semi Final)
Hoping that show pitch nerves that had haunted us earlier in the day wouldn’t get the better of the team, we arrived at field 1 to face the mighty Cheltenham Tigers, series leaders with some positive game play under their belt and a mammoth 27 trys already.
This was going to be a hard fought game. Going in to half time 0-0, the game was still there for the taking. Burrows opened the scoring for Chargers, but a strong performance in the second half from the Tigers as expected saw them edge in front and as the final whistle blew, the chargers hadn’t been able to claw back their deficit finishing 1-3 down and out of first place contention.
Final Score: 3-1 loss.
Game 6 - Exeter Eagle Owls (3rd / 4th Playoff)
The third place playoff was still their for the taking and even though Field 2 cameraman hadn’t bothered to stay around to watch, the Chargers smashed through the game with a 7-1 win over the Exeter Eagle Owls. Their third place was rightly theirs.
Final score: 7-1 win.
Final series standings and the chargers finished 2nd. A great performance over the last few months and team camaraderie that has welcomed so many new players in to the fold.
ROLL OF HONOUR
Top Scorer | Julia Kang (6)
MVP | Josh Burrows
MIP | Paul Doherty