Sunday the 24th November saw the second round of the North West development series 2019/2020, with 6 teams battling it out to be crowned champion. Once again, Manchester chargers fielded two teams (Turbo & Super) amongst the competition of OSJ, Orrell Anvils, Blaze, and the Warrington Knights.
The Turbos welcomed 2 new players for this tournament, the energetic young ‘uns Sam Thorpe and Cooper Bainbridge, on loan from North Manchester Chargers AKA Sedgley Park. Along with defensive star Ella Riordan, the Chargers were pleased that their reputation as oldest team on the circuit was no more, with some promising stars of the future showing their skills throughout the day.
The Turbo Chargers, once again captained by Nubli, got off to a strong start in their first game against Warrington Knights. Taking no prisoners, the match ended 7-2, with returning MVP of last season James Simons scoring 4 in this first match, leaving everyone thinking what’s the point of even trying to be top scorer of the day. Becci P, Paul Rio and Georgie (NOT GEORGIA) all crossed the whitewash for 1 score as well.
Turbo went straight into the next game against OSJ feeling confident after their win, but this was almost their undoing. A strong and fresh OSJ side really took turbo chargers to the wire, with some all too casual play from the Turbos. Harry “Aladdin” Armitage started strongly with an insane quarterback style ball to the wing, Paul Rio once again getting the score. It could have been 2-0 up to Chargers, but Harry decided to stroll in, tripped over his own outrageousness and spilled the ball over the line. OSJ fought back and the match result ended 1-1.
Cue the inspirational speech from Chargers coach AJ and Turbo were back on track in their next game against Anvills. 6 fine tries were scored in this match, with arguably the score of the day coming from “you should have caught that” Hillson. A fine set up in the midfield saw AJ on a short, throwing a huge miss 4 pass to Lol on the wing, with awesome handling dotting the ball down. James unfortunately added another score to his tally along with G and AJ. The fastest Charger, Jordan Crosssse, showed his speed catching an intercept on his own 5m line and raced away like a gazelle in a forest fire to score a full lengther, with Chargers referee Ice Road Pete struggling to keep up. End result, 6-1.
Next up, Super Chargers in the pool, and a chance to avenge the final of the previous tournament. With the Supers playing their 4th consecutive game with no break (who scheduled that?), there were certainly some tired legs about. The Turbo Chargers came shooting out the blocks and sustained an intensity all match from the whole team that the Super Chargers simply couldn’t match. The second fastest Charger, Nubs, tried to emulate Jordan from the previous match with a full length sprint, but unfortunately got stuck in some mud and the eternal youthfulness of Tim Shields caught up to him for the touch. With the Turbos pulling ahead, everyone was taking a leaf out of Harry’s playbook with some Fiji rugby, with Super Tom falling for an outrageous between the legs dummy by Crosssse. Fortunately, Gary BarJoe never forgot where he was coming from and made the touch to save Tom from the ultimate ridicule. The score ended 4-1 to Turbo chargers.
With one pool match to go, Turbo had managed to already qualify for the final, but knew they had to be strong and disciplined against a good Crewe team, the winners of last years competition. A tense affair, Turbos managed to complete their pool stages with a 3-2 win, with AJ scoring 2 and Harry A getting 1 as well. Mission accomplished, top the pool, now for the Cup final.
But first, some highlights from the Super Chargers by Captain Overbury.
Beth - Solid in defence and dangerous in attack. Great driving capped a complete performance.
Danny - Broke the defensive line with his pace on numerous occasions and scored loads
Gregg - Ran the show in attack and did a lot of pointing in defence. No Greggg stares needed!
Joe - Was key in attack with his pace on the drive. Read the game well from mid in defence.
Jordan H - Scored loads and threw some great long balls.
Paul A - Hugely improved on body position in defence.
Rob - Left to go to basketball practice before the final...
Sammy - Caught some absolute screamers in the corner at left wing. Great comms all day.
Sarah - Barely subbed all day and was hugely important in setting up attacks.
Stefan - Developed a great understanding with Rob and Paul throughout the day for some watertight defence!
Tim - Leapt like a salmon for his diving scores and chased down treacle feet Nubs to save a touchdown.
2nd place in the group stages.
Another great showing from the Chargers meant that it was an all chargers final for the second competition running.
With honours even across 2 matches this series now, neither side wanted to lose to the other. The Super Chargers started very well, with Joe Meadows scoring off the very first attack of the game.
The man Harry A, struck back swiftly to level the scores and it was game on, a similar start to the last cup final. However, there were some tired legs about from a full afternoon of competition, and the Super Chargers proved their driving strength, with a high intensity that the Turbo chargers simply couldn’t match. Drive after strong drive saw a lot of scores for the Supers, pulling away with the match. A late rally from Turbo saw them score a few back, but the Super Chargers were too strong in this final once again. Final score, 7-3 to Supers and the Cup once again.
A huge congratulations and thanks to everyone involved again in round 2, you were all awesome and have set the tone for the coming season. Round 3 is on January the 12th, a perfect chance to throw off the Christmas cobwebs, see you all then. Prediction; a Turbo Chargers Cup victory 🏆
Roll of Honour
Sarah Bellew, Georgie McKavanagh, Jordan Hankey, Jordan Crosssse
Danny Lomax, Ella Riordan
Jordan Hankey, James Simons