Legends put Stevenage to the sword
Letchworth Garden City 24 Stevenage Town 13 LETCHWORTH won a pulsating derby game again rivals Stevenage at Legends Lane on Saturday to complete the double over the newly promoted club. Although the visitors had periods of pressure in the first half whe
Letchworth Garden City 24 Stevenage Town 13
LETCHWORTH won a pulsating derby game again rivals Stevenage at Legends Lane on Saturday to complete the double over the newly promoted club.
Although the visitors had periods of pressure in the first half when they did create try-scoring opportunities, a of mixture handling errors and solid Letchworth defending halted their progress and two penalties from Gareth Roberts was scant reward for their efforts.
The second half belonged entirely to Letchworth when their backs looked extremely sharp with ball in hand, and after the game Stevenage President Daryl Hayler sportingly congratulated the home side on a comprehensive victory.
Letchworth, playing against the wind, had the best of the opening 10 minutes in the first half.
Great driving by veteran prop Darren Spillane saw the ball move quickly between hands and find itself in the arms of Henry Robinson bursting through the line at an excellent angle.
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The Legends' full back evaded his opposite number but crashed into the post whilst scoring a fine try, which was converted by Gavin Donald.
Stevenage looked in danger of conceding again just a few minutes later when Letchworth's try scorer Robinson chipped through to the Stevenage 22 line, but this time the move was snuffed out by good defending.
Soon after Letchworth were awarded a penalty near the 10-metre line and the mighty boot of Gavin Donald saw the ball scrape over in the strong wind.
However, the visitors were not going to let their hosts have it all their own way and their forwards began to dominant as the half went on.
Ex-Letchworth player Tavita Faamusili along with Lock Amos were particularly rampant, and from a line-out on the Letchworth line Stevenage nearly scored but the referee adjudged a forward pass.
After sustained pressure Stevenage were awarded a penalty which was converted by Gareth Roberts and from a poor kick off by Donald, Stevenage drove back down the field and won another penalty which this time was narrowly missed.
At this stage of the game a yellow card was issued to Peter Sterienburg for infringing and despite having only 14 men Letchworth constantly rebutted Stevenage's attacks.
They soon picked up another card, however, for a seemingly innocuous challenge by Lewis Hett but as he trudged off Sterienburg came back on the field to shore up the defence.
Despite Stevenage's territorial and numerical advantage their only reward by half time was another penalty by Roberts.
Letchworth came out in the second half firing on all cylinders and the Stevenage forwards domination came to an abrupt halt.
Donald missed a penalty early on from far out but his kicking from hand in this half was excellent and pinned Stevenage in back in their 22.
Indeed the Letchworth breakthrough came from a long raking kick up the field when the ball eluded Stevenage full-back Kyle Lemon.
Letchworth's Robinson grabbed it with a fine leap before feeding Dave Rae who in turn fed fellow Springbok Sterienburg who dived over for a fine try, which was converted by Donald.
The Letchworth backs were now in full flow and minutes later a great break involving Hett and Spillane saw a four man overlap wasted by the home side who were now clearly in control.
Replacement scrum-half Harvey Howman had a magical last half hour and he set up the Legends' last try as he linked with Giles Cooke who in turn fed Hett for a fine converted try in the corner.
With the score at 24-6 Letchworth skipper Jaggi Johal received an early Christmas present from the referee with another yellow card for a seemingly innocuous incident.
Taking advantage of the lack of cover tackling Stevenage drove through the centre to score a fine try which was converted by Gareth Roberts to leave the final score 24-13.
This was a hard but clean game watched by over 300 people and a testament to both clubs fine standard of rugby in this league.
Letchworth are holding a charity day on Saturday, December 27 from lunchtime onwards where any players from any other clubs who want to run off their Christmas turkey will be most welcome.
Contact Peter Marsdon on 01462 835163.