First league win for Letchworth Garden City
Letchworth Garden City 28 Ruislip 15 Letchworth have won their first London Two North game of the season. The home side started this match with a weak October sun and a gusting wind on their backs. Ruislip, whose pack had a hint of experience about it, st
Letchworth Garden City 28 Ruislip 15
Letchworth have won their first London Two North game of the season.
The home side started this match with a weak October sun and a gusting wind on their backs. Ruislip, whose pack had a hint of experience about it, started with a determination to keep the ball and neutralise the elements.
Jaggi Johal played a captain's role for Letchworth, stemming the tide of red shirts as they piled into the fray. Too many penalties were conceded, which on a different day would have been costly.
With the first piece of possession, Gavin Donald, restored after injury, applied his cultured boot to hoist the ball high into the swirling stratosphere. Not surprisingly, the visiting full-back made a pickle of the clearance.
Ruislip were penalised in their frantic defence, but a good advantage allowed Letchworth to press home the attack for Pieter Sterienberg to score out wide. Donald converted.
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Clean ball at the kick-off allowed another bomb to be launched. From the ensuing lineout, Johal linked nicely with his back row colleagues to create a gap. The bulk of Giles Cooke, allied to a turn of pace, exploited the situation to dive over for another try.
Ruislip were under pressure now. Their set scrum posed problems, but elsewhere, Letchworth held the aces. Donald slotted a penalty, and was instrumental in bringing his young but talented backs into the game.
Lewis Hett made a typically strong run to create space for Henry Robinson. His dancing feet mesmerised defenders as he bobbed and weaved through impossible gaps. Rick Streets, hair flowing in the wind, was on hand to elegantly touch down for the final score of the half.
Letchworth had 20 points in the bag, but there was no sign of the wind abating.
Having suffered for the first half, Ruislip knew exactly what was needed.
While they were setting up camp in Letchworth's 22m area, Robinson snuck in and stole the ball.
Dummying and sidestepping his way through, his mazy run took him within yards of the visitors' try line - and various options.
But amazingly a series of unnecessary looped passes presented the opportunity for the sole defender to make a brave tackle.
Buoyed by this, the Londoners went back on the offensive and their determination was rewarded with a converted try.
More of the same followed, with the referee keenly watching Letchworth's defensive efforts. Penalties followed, including unforgivably, one for back chat.
A second try followed by a penalty closed the gap to five points and then a yellow card to Hett with 10 minutes to go.
Johal marshalled his men, and they upped their game and attacked the restart. Donald stepped up to kick the penalty.
That man Robinson ended any doubts by, skipping inches from the touchline, showing strength to match his guile. This time the final pass was timed to perfection and Donald crossed untouched to seal a fine victory.
Letchworth revisit the battle of the Garden Cities this Saturday when they travel to Welwyn.