Energetic Letchworth motor to victory

Sidcup 17 Letchworth Garden City 24 At last that car motor that has threatened to start all season roared into action as Letchworth edged past slick Sidcup at Sydney Road in the first round of the EDF Energy Intermediate Cup. Their reward is a home tie ag

Sidcup 17 Letchworth Garden City 24

At last that car motor that has threatened to start all season roared into action as Letchworth edged past slick Sidcup at Sydney Road in the first round of the EDF Energy Intermediate Cup.

Their reward is a home tie against local Hertfordshire rivals Bishop's Stortford in the next round on Saturday, November 22.

Despite some defensive frailties which gave Sidcup number 10 Jim Hardy two soft tries, Letchworth played some great rugby in the opening 40 minutes and scored three excellent tries and then dug in for the second half as Sidcup threw everything at them.

With a penalty count of 15 to five against the Legends Lane boys, it was amazing that the second half remained 0-0 and hopefully this win will help to start their league campaign.

At first it seemed it would go the way of other games this season as Sidcup won plenty of ball, looked dangerous and slotted an early penalty.

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Too often Letchworth were trying to run the ball out from their own 22 when, with a breeze, the obvious solution was the long hoof.

After 15 minutes the forwards managed to turn over ball, Harvey Howman spun the ball to Henry Robinson who chipped ahead.

The bounce of the ball eluded the Sidcup full-back and Rick Streets juggled the ball and dived over for a try.

The ever impressive Robinson, taking over kicking duties from the injured Gavin Donald, slotted the conversion from the touchline.

The visitors then gave away a series of penalties allowing Sidcup to press hard on their line.

Once again the central channels tackling was wanting as Hardy ghosted through for a seven pointer. Robinson replied with a sweetly-struck penalty that went in off the upright.

The next 10 minutes saw some superb driving play and then from broken play, Streets kicked ahead and Pieter Sterienberg was on hand to burst through the centre and score a fine try, converted by Robinson.

Once again the ball was banged down deep and the Sidcup full-back Woollerd tried to run the ball out.

Liam Corcoran won the ball from him and Howman burst through the gap to lay the ball off to a thundering Lewis Hett who passed to Robinson to slide in under the posts to make the conversion a formality for the gifted young full-back.

Sidcup came back with another try from Hardy after Letchworth had defended well for five minutes.

The topsy-turvy half ended with a long range penalty from Robinson just dipping under the bar.

With breeze and slope, Letchwoth were up against it in the second half but a combination of fierce tackling and wrong options allowed the visitors to keep a clean sheet.

Sidcup had numerous penalties only opting to kick one which struck the post and nearly gifted their second row with a try only for a combination of Howman and Robinson to bundle him into touch. Winger Dave Rae also put in some fine defensive work.

With the match-shy Giles Cooke tiring, skipper Jaggi Johal came on for the final 15 minutes.

A rare break out of defence saw Sterienberg coming close and winning a lineout on the Sidcup line but again a penalty against the visitors ruined this attacking position.

However the end was in sight and as Olly Daniels poked the ball into touch, the final blast sounded for a deserved victory.

This Saturday sees a London Two North league match at home to Ruislip. Lunch is at 1pm - all diners should call Brian Burke on 07768 274037.

* The second XV carried on their impressive season with a fine win 36-15 against Leighton Buzzard.

Replacement skipper Adam Winwood led from the front with returning Romanian George 'Dancing Bear' Ghita also having a fine match.

The thirds went down narrowly to Haverhill's second string 25-16.

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