Letch shut out Welwyn
Letchworth GC 37 Welwyn 0 Letchworth eased to a comfortable win to reach the quarter-finals of the Herts Presidents Cup. The early season encounter between the two garden cities was a turgid affair. This did not deter supporters of both teams turning up
Letchworth GC 37 Welwyn 0
Letchworth eased to a comfortable win to reach the quarter-finals of the Herts Presidents' Cup.
The early season encounter between the two garden cities was a turgid affair.
This did not deter supporters of both teams turning up in force to shout on their side and they were not disappointed, with Welwyn, despite being outgunned, playing their part in an entertaining game.
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Skipper Jaggi Johal opted to play with the winter sun on his back, knowing it would cause problems for his opponents.
He got an early reward following good pressure on Gavin Donald's kicks by Henry Robinson and then Matt Turner as the visitors infringed for an early penalty.
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Welwyn mounted a brief riposte, but the physical presence of the Letchworth defence was well up to the task.
Soon Letchworth were back on the offensive. Two five-metre lineouts were kept out, but the pressure told for another easy penalty goal, despatched by Donald.
Letchworth had the luck of the bounce from the restart, but what followed was pure skill.
The backs linked well, with passes both inside and out to turn the defence.
Liam Corcoran continued his scoring run with the finish in the corner. Donald stepped up to convert and the home side were 13 points up.
Welwyn were rocked by this and struggled to clear their line.
When they had the opportunity, they manfully ran the ball, but with Letchworth's back row in form, were stopped in their tracks.
Ryan de la Harpe looks to have found his form and was having a fine game.
His speedy distribution sent Ian Smith on a fine run, but the cover just stopped another score on the stroke of half time.
The visitors were fielding a young side, but Letchworth were in no mood for charity.
The front row were now dominant and secured a turnover.
Wide it went for Mike Stack, back in his accustomed position of wing, to show his class. His opposite number offered him the outside, but was left flailing as he feinted in and then accelerated away for a fine try.
Letchworth were going through the gears now. Robin French just juggled a scoring pass from Matt Turner, but the pressure mounted.
From a penalty, Johal, rampant all day, crashed through the defence for a try to put the tie out of reach.
Welwyn were playing for pride and stuck to the task.
Physically they had to give second best to the Letchworth team and despite their efforts, did not have the firepower to make the break through.
Coach Phil Waters rang the changes and the ever popular Dave Rae made an instant hit with the crowd as he launched his body into a series of committed tackles.
Moments later, he was on the receiving end of another disciplined backs move to score in the corner.
Briefly, Letchworth lost their way, forgetting that hard work precedes the opportunity to fling the ball about.
This gave the visitors one last chance to make a mark, and they pressed hard.
As is often the way, one turnover undid them. Corcoran linked several times as the counter swept upfield.
Robinson was the final recipient, and made the 30m to the line, stepping the cover as he went. Under the posts for a try and conversion to seal the day.
Letchworth entertain Tabard this Saturday at Baldock Road.
The visitors have key players back from injury and will be keen to change the poor run of results they suffered pre-Christmas.
The match is preceded by a lunch for players of the 1970s and 1980s - so there will be plenty of advice available from the stars of yesteryear!