Chargers complete ‘dream’ season

One of the best performances ever seen in the Conference League South

London Chargers competed a dream first season in the Conference League South with a stunning 42-0 win over Welsh side Valley Cougars on Saturday.

The Cougars, backed by an enthusiastic set of travelling supporters all season, finished top of the division, a point clear of the Chargers, but had no answer for an imperious performance from the London side, who were 28-0 up by half time. They began well and went ahead on the back of their first set of the game, winger Ben Hird going over after two minutes following a slick passing move. Their lead was doubled six minutes later when Johnny Oldridge grounded in the opposite corner. This time Lyon converted well to make it 10-0.

The Chargers, who put in what was described as one of the best performances ever seen in the Conference League South, increased their advantage further on 17 minutes – the instrumental Lyon offloaded well to Liam McGee who went over in the same place. Lyon again converted and the London side were 16-0 up.

Things got even better for the Cougars on 24 minutes when powerful centre Tala Petelo, a former Valley Cougar, skittled three defenders to set up Hird for his second. Lyon’s kick made it 22-0. The Cougars were firmly on the ropes, but Ethan Coombes did carve out some opportunities as the half wore on, only for the Chargers to stand firm in defence.

After the Cougars saw a try disallowed for a forward pass, the London side stormed back and tore upfield, with former London Skolars prop Ollie Bloom crashing over after a stunning set. Man of the Match Lyon converted again. Although Brady Stewart was sin binned on the stroke of half time for a professional foul, the Chargers were already in a commanding position, holding a 28-0 interval lead.

The 12-man Chargers were manful in Stewart’s absence, and he made amends on his return to the field, scooting over from dummy half with his first touch after coming back on to make it 32-0.

After the Chargers had two further disaalowed tries, for a forward pass and a knock on respectively, Petelo was not to be denied with ten minutes to play, as he showed brute strength once again to fend off the covering defence and slide over. But the action wasn’t done there – the last play of the game saw Nathan Brown pounced on a Lyon kick, Lyon converting to complete the scoring on the whistle.

Valley Cougars

Ben Jones; Yousif Sulliman, Mike Hurley, Liam Watton, Adam Watton; Lee Goddard, Shane Lee; Scott Giles, Dean Higgs, Rhys Davies; Lewis Wilkes, Jack Watkins; Scott Britton.

Subs: Dafydd Hellard, Ethan Coombes, Ross Price, Kristian Baller.

London Chargers

Mitch Manson; Ben Hird, Johnny Oldridge, Tala Petelo, Liam McGee; Nathan Brown, Phil Lyon; Ollie Bloom, Blake Stewart, Danny Williams; Tom Poole, Joe Briggs; Todd Peut.

Subs: Brady Stewart, Danny Burke, Luke Haslam, Craig Kruger.

Tries: Hird (2, 24), Oldridge (8), McGee (17), Bloom (35), Stewart (52), Petelo (70), Lyon (80)

Goals: Lyon 5/8

Referee: Matthew Rossleigh

Man of the Match: Phil Lyon

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