BRISTOL ALL GOLDS 10 – 36 LONDON CHARGERS
Christopher Wilson at Oaklands
Two tries in the opening ten minutes of the second half saw the London Chargers ease to a 36-10 victory over the Bristol All Golds at Oaklands.
The All Golds were in the match until just before the interval after a first half that saw them go toe to toe with one of the favourites to lift the trophy in September.
The opening half hour was nip and tuck, with the All Golds holding a slender 6-4 lead after Henry Symons touched down a Darrion Ball kick. Ball adding the goal. This came in response to a fourth minute try from Adam Simm.
However, the Chargers turned it around with a quickfire brace of tries just before the interval to lead 16-6 at the break.
They started the second half upping the pace of their play and the All Golds were left chasing shadows as the Chargers extended their lead to 26-6 within ten minutes of the restart. Though play became scrappy, the visitors were able to cross twice more around the hour mark as the home side’s legs failed them.
However, the Bristolians had the better of the final few minutes and got a deserved second try when Dom Williams was on hand to touch down a bouncing ball following a well-placed kick from Greg Hamilton with five minutes left on the clock.
The Bristol All Golds fell to a second defeat by the London Chargers this season, but they showed plenty in the first half particularly, that should stand them in good stead for the second half of the season.
The home side were well in the contest and led for a fifteen-minute period during the first half as their play was controlled well by Darrion Ball at scrum half and his kicking game forced the Chargers to start their sets deep in their own half.
However, the Chargers were more incisive and clinical when it came to collecting points when near the opposition line. They took the lead after four minutes when Adam Simm caught the defence out from a tap penalty for an unconverted try.
The All Golds soon responded with Ball carrying to the line and threading a kick through the legs of several defenders to Henry Symons who gathered the ball and stepped inside the cover. There were suspicions he had lost the ball in the act of scoring, but the referee was happy to award the points.
Ball added the extras for a 6-4 lead and the All Golds looked good value for their advantage. However, they were unable to build on it and were punished when Nathan O’Connor made a long kick return to set up an attacking position for his side.
They gained an extra set of tackles and Oliver Bos weaved through a disorganised defence to score. George Denham added the extras.
Six minutes later, the Chargers had the lead. Again, the home defence failed to register any danger and David O’Connor easily scored from dummy half on the last tackle.
Before the half ended, the All Golds had a chance to get the rewards their play deserved but they were held up on the tryline on the last tackle.
The Chargers looked to build on their 16-6 lead right from the restart. Their play was noticeably faster and they controlled the speed of the ruck expertly. Just four minutes into the half, the home side were caught out by the Chargers’ speed at the play-the-ball and Michael Chivers scored as the All Golds ran out of numbers.
With their next set, the visitors were in again. Fast, direct running and quick work from dummy half created space for winger Ope Okuboyeju to show his speed as he raced in from halfway. George Denham’s goal made the score 26-6.
The Londoners were getting a lot of joy down their right and Okuboyeju saw plenty of the ball in the next few sets, but the All Golds manged to scramble and snuff out the danger.
However, on the hour mark, the Chargers struck again to extend their lead. A scramble for possession ended with Bos feeding Simm for an unconverted try.
The home side began to rock a little and Nathan O’Connor scored shortly afterwards, capping his try in the corner with a fine touchline goal for a 36-6 lead.
With their next set, the Chargers went close to extending their advantage only for a desperate last-ditch tackle from Brandon Lamb to come to the home side’s rescue.
The All Golds had arguably the better of the final stages. Symons was called back for a knock on as he was on his way to the tryline before the All Golds got the score their overall play deserved.
After a set deep in Chargers territory, Greg Hamilton’s kick to the corner dropped just over Harry Normington’s head and Dom Williams snapped up the loose ball to dot down.
The Chargers had one last chance to add to their lead as Konstantinos Gerontakis powered through the middle and found Nathan O’Connor in support, but the fullback was ankle-tapped just as he closed in on the line and the chance was lost.
The All Golds could reflect on a very good first half but were unable to post the points their approach play deserved. Against a lesser side, they might well have put more points on the board, but the Chargers are one of the league’s best outfits and were able to cope with most of what the All Golds could throw at them.
ALL GOLDS: George Orriss; Henry Symons, Connor Massey, Dom Williams; Rohan Chatterjee; Greg Hamilton, Darrion Ball; Matt Blacker, Jack Uren, Dylan Thomas; Billy Hooper, Brandon Lamb (Capt); Mike Harrison; INTERCHANGE: Russ Preston, Kieran Harvey, Connor Kendall, Adam Turner.
Tries: Symons (12), Williams (75)
Goals: Ball 1 from 1, Hamilton 0 from 1.
Chargers: Nathan O’Connor; Harry Normington, George Geddes, George Denham, Ope Okuboyejo; Adam Simm, Oliver Bos; Konstantinos Gerontakis, Eric Sims, Charlie Whitington; Munashe Fumhanda, Michael Chivers; David O’Connor (Capt.); INTERCHANGE: Will Buckingham, Calum Linton, Cash Radford, Nicholas Sydorowitz.
Tries: Simm (4, 61), Bos (27), D. O’Connor (33), Chivers (44), Okuboyejo (47), N. O’Connor (65)
Goals: Denham 3 from 6, N. O’Connor 1 from 1.
All Golds player of the Match: George Orriss was solid at the back once again and his kick returns consistently gained valuable metres forward. He also ran strongly when injecting himself into the line in attack.
Scoring sequence: 0-4, 6-4, 6-10, 6-16, (HT), 6-20, 6-26, 6-30, 6-36, 10-36, (FT)
Penalty Count: 6-4