FINALISTS IN ROUND 2
Chargers went into this competition with a squad mixed with experience and youth
Game 1 - Wigan Spartans
The Chargers took on Wigan Spartans in the first of the pool rounds looking to make a strong start. An early full length break away try by Kyle Owen put the chargers immediately on the front foot.
Some excellent defensive sets created the platform for a scoop by Josh Burrows that put Luke Hickson in for his first try of the day. This was quickly followed by clever play by Phil Heselwood who created a 3v2 to put Sarah Bellew into the link hole to make it 3-0. Wigan were unable to break the Chargers defence which held strong before a sneaky dive for the line by Burrows secured a satisfying 4-0 win.
Game 2 - Peterborough
Next up was Peterborough. The same pitch saw the same outcome – a 4-1 win! Emilio was creator for two of the tries, each time finding a Welsh pair of hands out on the wing in the form of Amelia Rees who was composed for both finishes.
Luke Hickson exploited a compressed defence during transition with a solo effort up the wing. Finishing with a swan dive in the corner. Prior to this substitutions were not going well for the Chargers as Bruce Bailey drove hard for the box. He was seemingly isolated and lacked support by his team mates – he had dragged across to the Peterborough sun box! Despite this mix up a fourth try came when Josh Burrows scooped close to the line and put Lois Lau in for her first try of the day.
Chargers were two for two going into the final pool game.
Game 3 - Nottingham Outlaws
Confidence was high and the team were searching for a high scoring victory against the Nottingham Outlaws. Kyle Owen pulled the strings from mid, which ensured the ‘young team’ (Kyle, Emilio & Mike) got a ruck of tries during their offensive sets.
A hat-trick from Kyle as well as tries by Cathi Farrer, Amelia Rees and Phil Heselwood completed the 6-1 rout.
Despite the refs official score-sheet, everyone in the vicinity of pitch 5 will remember a ‘mythical’ seventh try.
A text book scoop by Phil started a series of slick hands that passed from Phil to Josh to Lois before finding Amelia in the corner for a true masterclass of synchronisation. This try has been immortalised on video – thanks Sarah!
Game 4 - Norwich Rebels (Cup Quarter Finals)
The 100% morning record, secured a quarter final against Norwich Rebels on the show pitch and live stream. (Link)
This game was the toughest challenge for the team so far, and required determination and grit from the get go as Chargers went down 3-0 after just seven minutes of play. Despite this, Chargers rallied just before halftime scoring two excellent tries. A solo dive by Kyle for the line and some great play by Burrows in the middle of the park to put Luke Hickson in a hole which he exploited with an awesome turn of pace to send him over to make it 3-2 at half time.
Early in the second half strong defensive play followed by excellent anticipation by Cathi Farrer saw her intercept a teasing outlaw pass resulting in a drive which saw the ‘old team’ break their duck of not scoring a try. Lois Lau took control of a penalty tap, which set up a sweep by Andrew Haslett who reversed play with an inside pass to put Luke Lawrence in the short-side mid-link channel.
3-3 quickly became 4-3 to Norwich. However, patient build up by Chargers allowed Bailey to strike within metres of the try line, delivering an exquisite long pass out to the left wing which was expertly watched, secured and scored by Lizzie Grayshon on the left wing.
4-4 at full time, took the Chargers into a drop off which they had to play with a player down after losing one for poor discipline late in normal time. Norwich scored quickly using their extra player advantage, yet this was miraculously pegged back by some intricate buddies between Kyle Owen and Lois Lau that took the game to sudden death at 4-4.
After riding the storm and back to equal players on the pitch, Chargers came through in sudden death. Lois and Kyle again combining before Emilio held his width to receive a long pass on the wing and touch down in the corner.
Game 5 - Yorkshire Thorns (Cup Semi Final)
Into the semi-final for a war of the Roses clash against the Yorkshire Thorns. Chargers started strong with Mike Rice injecting his freshness from the sub box to unlock the Thorns defence and touch down. Chargers defence again was proving to be key shutting out the Thorns for a succession of sets. On the back of this, three tries were scored by Kyle Owen and another impressive full length break by Luke Hickson put the Chargers out of sight.
A late bit of combination play saw Josh Burrows put Lizzie Grayshon in for the last try of the game, taking the Chargers in the final with a 6-2 victory.
Game 6 - Galaxy London (Cup Final)
The cup final saw the chargers take on an impressive London Galaxy. The game started off like a basketball match, each side returning a series of scores. After going 1-0 down an impressive series of buddies set up Emilio to scoop and find a supporting Mike Rice to touch down for the first equalising score.
Galaxy hit back with an impressive long pass which was scored in the corner. An almost repeat of the first try saw Emilio peg the Chargers back once again. Galaxy struck again, before the Chargers took advantage of a no touch penalty turnover resulting in Amelia Rees scoring from a scoop close to the line taking it to 3-3. Seconds before the half time hooter Galaxy went 4-3 up with an impressive 3 metre solo dive.
The second half saw a few silly penalties being given away by the Chargers for over stepping the mark. Galaxy did not let them get away with it and pounced on this opportunity to create distance between themselves and went 6-3 up.
A final rally by the Chargers started by a Luke Hickson break which took the Chargers deep into the Galaxy half. Some composure around the 7 metre line found Josh Burrows in space to score and make the game 6-4. Sadly, time was ticking and Galaxy got one final try and saw the game out to win the final 7-4.
ROLL OF HONOUR
Top Scorer | (9) Kyle Owen
Most Assists | (3 each) Emilio Grattarola and Josh Burrows
MVP | Kyle Owen
MIP | Luke Hickson
Tournament overall MVP | Lois Lau