ALL GOLDS CLOSE BUT CHARGERS TOO GOOD

BRISTOL ALL GOLDS 14 – 22 LONDON CHARGERS

Christopher Wilson at Oaklands, Bristol

SUMMARY

The Bristol All Golds came very close to beating one of the Southern Conference League’s ‘big three’ in a tight game at Oaklands.

With a strong wind making kicking difficult, the All Golds didn’t use the conditions as well as their opponents who managed the game very well and deserved the two competition points.

However, the All Golds turned a 4-0 half-time deficit into a 10-4 lead midway through the second half and, but for a superb try-saving tackle from Chargers’ scrum half Tyler Kearsey would have extended that further and perhaps gone on to victory.

Kearsey went on to set up two tries in three minutes late in the game to seal his side’s victory despite a late effort from the home side.

FULL REPORT

The Bristol All Golds came very close to beating one of the Southern Conference League’s ‘big three’ in a tight game at Oaklands.

With a strong wind making kicking difficult, the All Golds didn’t use the conditions as well as their opponents who managed the game very well and deserved the two competition points.

The tone was set as the Chargers kicked off into the wind and the All Golds’ indecision allowed the ball to bounce into touch. However, the All Golds defended the set and Brandon Lamb made good metres with the home side’s first possession.

However, the Chargers began to turn the screw with the All Golds’ long kicking game failing to take account of the wind, gifting their opponents consecutive seven tackle sets from the 20 metre line.

Both sides came close to scoring as the Chargers’ Cash Radford was held up over the home line and shortly afterwards, after four consecutive sets on the Chargers’ line, the All Golds’ Harry Mills was himself unable to ground the ball.

It was then the Chargers’ turn to enjoy the weight of possession and they made it count on 22 minutes when Elliott Stockdale opened the scoring from a looping pass by Ope Okuboyeju.

Tyler Kearsey’s conversion attempt was on target until the wind stopped it and the ball went under the crossbar.

The All Golds had the better of the remainder of the half possession-wise but just could not break through some well organised and solid defending from the visitors.

Their best chance came with ten minutes to go to the break as Mills made a superb break down the left with Mackenzie Cumming in support. However, the winger dropped the pass with an open line in front of him.

As the half drew to a close, Sol Platt was unable to ground the ball as he tried to burrow over.

Trailing 4-0 and playing into the teeth of the gale, the All Golds needed to start the half strongly to get on level terms.

That they did as they recovered the kick off and looked to press the Chargers line.

After 47 minutes, a six-again late in the tackle count and deep in Chargers territory gave them an opportunity, which they took. Spreading the ball to the left Cumming forced his way over in the corner for a well taken try. Callum Merrett’s conversion attempt went wide of the posts and the scores were locked at 4-4.

The Chargers hit back but some desperate scrambling defence held them for four consecutive sets before the All Golds broke out and took the lead.

For almost the first time in the game, Merrett was able to burst through the defence and his expertly weighted kick sat up perfectly in the in-goal for Dom Williams to dive on the ball to score. Owen Priest nailed the almost impossible touchline goal into the wind to put the home side ahead 10-4.

Then came perhaps the game-breaking moment. Merrett chipped ahead on the last tackle and Williams read the flight of the ball as it stopped in the wind to gather and head for the line, but Kearsey covered back to make a superb ball-and-all tackle to end the danger.

A try there and the All Golds would have been well on course for victory, but the momentum shifted firmly in the Chargers’ favour and they had enough skill and experience to make it count.

From the handover that restarted play, they moved swiftly upfield, earned a six-again on the last tackle and worked the space for Oliver Bos to go over. Kearsey levelled the score with the conversion.

The Chargers were dominating possession and from a swift break by Kearsey, Josh Treglown touched down by the posts making the conversion a formality for a 16-10 lead.

The All Golds tried but failed to regather the kick-off and the Chargers took play back to the All Golds’ line where Kearsey won the race to his kick ahead to score and add the goal for good measure.

Ten minutes remained and the All Golds found themselves two scores down. This time Morgan Lewis retrieved the restart and, from the second successive penalty for offside on the Chargers’ line, Ed Tait powered over.

Priest had to convert to give his side a realistic chance of saving the game with six minutes left, but he could not master the wind this time and the Chargers had a two-score 22-14 lead to defend.

They managed to do so without too many scares, and even had the opportunity of a certain score ruled out for a forward pass.

The game ended in disappointment for the All Golds but they know they are slowly building towards a position where they can test the top teams and be in contention for honours.

In the curtain-raiser to the main match, the All Golds U14s put in a strong performance against a more experienced Torfaen Tigers side but were on the losing side, 28-6. With a number of the side new to the game, this was a commendable performance from the All Golds youngsters against a well-coached and well-organised team.

MatchStats

Teams:

ALL GOLDS: Oliver Winterbottom; Dom Williams, Brandon Lamb (Capt.), Greg Hamilton, Mackenzie Cumming; Fiach Millward, Callum Merrett; Ed Tait, Owen Priest, Tom Baxter; Morgan Lewis, Harry Mills; Jack Uren; INTERCHANGE: Louis Birch, Oghenetega Rume-Tabiowo, Brandon Ball, Sol Platt. RESERVE: Adam Turner

Scorers

Tries: Cumming (47), Williams (55), Tait (74)

Goals: Merrett 0 from 1, Priest 1 from 2.

CHARGERS: Elliott Stockdale; Ope Okuboyejo, Oliver Bos, Joshua Treglown, Gabriel Burrill; Isaac Greene, Tyler Kearsey; Konstantinos Gerontakis, Douglas Chirnside, Guy Entwistle; James Morgan, Cash Radford; David O’Connor (Capt.); INTERCHANGE: James Jones, Joshua Hawthorne.

Scorers:

Tries: Stockdale (22), Bos (60), Treglown (67), Kearsey (70)

Goals: Kearsey 3 from 4.

Scoring sequence: 0-4, (HT), 4-4, 10-4, 10-10, 10-16, 10-22, 14-22, (FT)

Penalties: All Golds 5-11 Chargers

Referee: Malcolm Holmes (RFL)

All Golds Player of the Match: A number of All Golds were in contention, but Jack Uren earned the honour, working hard in the middle of the field and causing the Chargers plenty of problems with his strong and elusive running.