It was the weekend of Glastonbury but there was an even bigger event going on... the final weekend of the England Touch Elite NTS in Oxford with 20 teams entered across the Elite, Premiership and Championship Pools!
After finishing 4th in the Premiership Cup in the last round, Manchester Chargers knew it was all to play for and had to bring their A game if they wanted to bring home the silverware.
Chargers had a wealth of experience across the team, however as they had had very little playing time together they knew they would have to work harder than ever.
In the first game Manchester Chargers faced off against Bournemouth Lions with the mid day heat beating down on them.
Despite a strong start from Chargers, Bournemouth Lions began to pull ahead and with Dave Beecham having to retire due to injury, Chargers had to quickly reorganise to try and recover. After a hard fought match from both teams, Bournemouth Lions came out on top finishing the first match 10-6.
Following a strong warm up and a motivating team talk, the Chargers were all set to take to the field again against Cambridge Bees. With good scores from both teams, and some great hands from Leanne (despite giving herself a telling off, thinking she had put the ball down before the line), the match was all to play for. However after some well structured tap off moves from Manchester led by Cropper, Chargers began to pull away, winning the match with a score of 7-4.
Going from strength to strength Chargers were fully fired up and ready for their final match of the day against G:Force. Chargers got off to a strong start and scored some early scores against, utilising their pace and strong drives with some great scoops from Simons.
Moving into the second half Burton and Kang lengthened the Chargers lead with some great team work and hands, with Julia scoring 4 try's on the far wing, cementing the Chargers win with a score of 12-5.
After going from strength to strength Chargers finished second in their group, with two wins and one loss, securing their place in the Premiership Cup quarter finals ahead of day two.
Going into day two, Chargers were determined to build on their performance from day one and bring it into their first game of the day against Thames Valley Vikings.
With strong defence from Gaskell and Bellew on the line, Vikings had their attacking plays shut down. Josh and Pete Bowyer then took full control driving up the middle with some great diving finishes, giving Chargers the edge before Burton finished the game with a marvellous intercept and running the full length of the pitch, giving Chargers a win of 7-2.
In the semi-final Chargers faced off again against Bournemouth Lions, knowing full well they had everything to prove after their loss on the first day.
Manchester came charging out and did not stop, two diving scores from Blessed and some amazing diving touches from Teager set the chargers on fire! Meadows continued to push Bournemouth to their limits with his speed and pace, running through the defence. After a strong performance from the Chargers they finished with a win of 8-3 moving onto the Premiership Cup Finals!
Chargers faced off against Chester in the final, who they previously lost too in the last Elite NTS, knowing full well they had to bring their 'A game'.
With a strong start from both teams Strachan used his full length and scored a diving try in the far corner, with Simon hitting shorts at full pace and diving over the line. Some strong defence from Kang on the far wing meant Manchester and Chester were neck and neck until the final whistle, forcing a drop off.
With it all to play for Cropper took full control, setting up a beautiful score for Simons in reply against Chesters first score, making the next try scorer the winner. With some strong shuts from Kang and Teager Chester could not get past the Chargers defence, and with a fresh set of 6, 15m from Chester's try line, Simons, Burton and newcomer Burrows had the try line in their sights, with some quick hands between them Chargers finished the game with a great try, winning the game 10-9 and becoming Premiership Champions after a great weekend of touch!
Watch our Trylights reel here...
Roll of Honour
Special shout out and thanks to AJ Southgate for all the coaching and motivation needed throughout the weekend, it couldn't have been won without you!