Chargers made the short trip cross country to play a Sleaford side that had narrowly beaten them four weeks previously.
After a turbulent week in which the team management of the side had changed and the attendance at training was at an all time low, the Chargers couldn’t have asked for a worse start to the game. Travelling with just 16 players due to unavailability and injury, the opening 2 minutes started brightly with some strong runs from the Chargers pack and even the ball being shipped wide on several occasions but each attack was met with ferocious Spartan defence. Then the Chargers seemed to capitulate. Three quick tries from Spartans put them 14-0 up after only 12 minutes.
As is the case with Chargers in most games this season conceding early tries seemed to be the catalyst for a revival. First strong running from 2ndrow Jamie Brown saw him crash over under the posts, 2minutes later a good break down field from Dave Brown supported b Ali McDougall , laid the platform for the Chargers attack, Tom Schofield hit Loose forward Damien Pope with a perfect flat pass and an offload out of the tackle saw prop Shan Edge drop over the line for his 2nd try in two weeks. Both tries converted by Pope.
Chargers were now in the ascendancy and another attack brought about another try, this time Stand of Josh Rymell showing Spartan like side stepping and pace to dive over nr the corer. Pope stepping up to slot the extras. For the next ten minutes it seemed to be a battle of the defences with very little given either way. With ten minutes to half time and the score Chargers 18-14 Sleaford, the inevitable Chargers sleep happened. And 2 quick tries saw the half time score 24-14 to Sleaford.
Unfortunately for the Chargers, the half time break worked in the opposite fashion to how a break should and the 2nd half started as the first ended, Sleaford running in 5 tries before the Chargers could secure any decent ball of their own. With 60minutes on the clock the score now read 58-18 and the players heads dropping, some big tackles out wide by Brown and wing Rob Eggleton seemed to spark the Chargers into life. First a moment of magic, strong forward play, quick backs hands saw Brad Gozzard feed Adam Seredynski to beat his opposite winger before scoring. Pope again adding the extras, next up to score was Pope, who after strong runs by props Edge and Gary Pinnick saw the Chargers 5m out. Pope now in the hooker role picked up and drove over the line. Again converting.
Spartans were now getting nervous, but with the clock on their side they just needed to hold out with big defence. Chargers had other ideas and quick thinking by the backs saw Brown make a break down the centre channel, this was then driven in field by the forwards leaving now returning hooker Tom Schofield to pick up and dot over. Pope added the extras. With the score now Spartans 58-Chargers 36, the score line had a bit more respectability to it, but a moment of madness from Chargers saw them turn over the ball on the 1st tackle, and the strong running Spartan pack sent their replacement prop on a run that any winger would be proud of, stepping 4 tackles before driving the defender over the line.
Chargers were to have the final say though as more strong runs into the opposition half saw Brown stopped just short and a quick pop pass from Rymell to Pope saw him dive over for his 2nd in the corner. Conversion missed ( I blame tired legs!)
Once again Chargers on the wrong end of a high scoring game. We are finding this league very tough but are the masters of our own downfall with poor defence and fitness levels not up to scratch! Our attack seems to be getting there but the main emphasis for the next few weeks will be defence defence defence. Training is 6.30pm-8pm at Netherthorpe School every Wednesday!
MOM – Dave Brown – for train like defence
DOD – Adam Seredynski for his forward roll try when 30points down!