Letchworth Garden City and Hitchin both recorded impressive wins to propel them up the table.

Letchworth defeated Bedford Athletic 26-20 on the road in Regional One South East and will head to their final game before the Christmas break just one place behind next week's opponents Harpenden in third.

They had lost by 25 points to Athletic earlier in the season but with a number of new faces slotting seamlessly into the side, they have turned their form around, this being their seventh win in 12 outings, 

The hosts had the better of the early play but after nine minutes Letchworth worked the ball wide to Jake Allen.

He made it into the Bedford 22 and after drives forward by Tom Lewis and Llewellyn Jones, Oscar Robinson scooted over for the first try, converted by Josh Sharp.

It wasn't long before Athletic tied things up though, impressive scrum-half Michael Trigg going down the blind side following a strong scrum.

They then took the lead as the Legends fumbled the ball in a promising area, a penalty given away by Luke Mongston kicked over by Leo Mortimer, who had landed the earlier conversion.

The final 20 minutes of the half saw Letchworth very much in the ascendancy but with very little reward.

An interception from the home side was wasted by an over-clubbed kick forward while Letchworth's handling also prevented a try of their own.

But the did manage to grab a 14-10 half-time lead thanks to their second try of the afternoon.

Charlie Parkhouse broke down the middle, creating the space for Kaz Henderson to power his way over with an out-stretched arm.

Sharp again added the extras and the second half saw much of the same.

Athletic broke away for an unconverted score from Eldon Craven but three minutes later Letchworth were back in front, a line-out driven over the line with Mongston the scorer and Sharp kicking the conversion.

The fly-half was off target with a penalty as Letchworth looked to extend the lead but Parkhouse made sure the advantage was bumped up by five with the bonus-point score.

They had to defend after that a yellow card for Harvey Howman deliberately slowing the ball down prevented a certain score.

Bedford did break through with a minute to go, Felix Mallalieu the scorer but with the conversion again missed, one last attack was stopped by Robinson hacking the ball into touch.

The Comet: Skipper James Bolter scored three in Hitchin's impressive win over London Scottish Lions. Picture: HITCHIN RFCSkipper James Bolter scored three in Hitchin's impressive win over London Scottish Lions. Picture: HITCHIN RFC (Image: Hitchin Rugby Club)

Hitchin meanwhile stormed to a 31-15 success at home to Counties One Herts Middlesex leaders London Scottish Lions.

And while the visitors had lost just once in all games prior to this one, Hitchin were protecting a prefect home record.

The Hedgehogs started the better and it was seven minutes before the Lions even set foot in the home half.

Needless to say, the first points belonged to Hitchin.

Ben Wiggins had already seen a drift wide of the posts thanks to a crosswind but when a line-out was caught, the forwards mauled their way forward allowing Jon Welsford to storm through the middle after 13 minutes.

The onslaught continued and after Will Evans was halted by a last-ditch tackle, Frazer McGown found space at the fringes of the ruck to score under the posts, converted by Wiggins.

Wiggins was then forced out of the action after a nasty-looking knee injury and it sent flanker Ruiri Shanahan into the fly-half role.

Undaunted though Hitchin kept their focus and set up an unstoppable rolling maul which ended with skipper James Bolter touching down, Evans kicking the extras.

Lions only really threatened in the final 10 minutes of the first half and even then, they were only able to score after Hitchin went down to 14 following a yellow card for a high tackle.

They did so twice, however, which left Hitchin holding a 19-10 lead at the break.

The home side's hopes took another thumping when almost instantly after getting back to 15, they had another yellow card and another 10-minute spell a man down.

Again Lions capitalised but only with another five.

Evans as short with a penalty on 55 minutes but with their full complement restored, they bagged the bonus-point try to create a cushion.


Simon Taylor carried strongly to the Lions' five-metre line and on the second phase, Shanahan fed Bolter and he stepped inside his tackler to cross the whitewash.

Evans' kick made the lead 11 points and the win was secured with 10 minutes to play, Adam Baird picking up a loose pass and after carrying the ball into the 22, Bolter was able to get his hat-trick.

Another yellow card came Hitchin's way in the final five minutes but this time the defence held firm to prevent Lions from snatching a bonus point of their own.

The win puts Hitchin fifth, with their final match of 2023 coming at Datchworth on Saturday.

The seconds hosted Biggleswade in an earlier kick-off and were four tries down playing into the wind in the first half.

With the conditions in their favour they did manage tries from debutant Chris Davies, Marcus Moore and Brodie Feaver but they lost 55-17.