New coach has all the raw materials
Letchworth GC 13 Bury St Edmunds 13 This was a case of one that got away from Letchworth s point of view as the relieved cheers of the visitors testified at the end of this torrid encounter. Bury, who had won both opening games, were outplayed by the home
Letchworth GC 13 Bury St Edmunds 13
This was a case of one that got away from Letchworth's point of view as the relieved cheers of the visitors testified at the end of this torrid encounter.
Bury, who had won both opening games, were outplayed by the home side for large parts of this match but Letchworth failed to close out the game when they led 13-3 with a Bury man binned and only 15 minutes to go.
Hopefully lessons will be learned from this as the season progresses and new coach Mike Clements certainly saw enough improvements in play from previous weeks to build upon during the coming matches.
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Bury started with a bang and scored an easy three points in the opening minute when a Letchworth player did not roll away quick enough.
In the initial stages the home forwards did not gel and both home half-backs had poor afternoons at the office.
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Bury received a further gift of a penalty in front of the posts which went a foot wide.
However, after 20 minutes, Letchworth's confidence began to grow. Harvey Howman, one of four players under-20 in the side, broke out of defence and fed Lewis Hett.
The rampaging number seven, who was a thorn in Bury's side throughout the afternoon, broke several tackles but just could not get a final pass away.
Letchworth started to thread some good moves together and the mercurial Henry Robinson was brought down five yards from the line. Liam Corcoran took the ball on and in a resulting penalty Gavin Donald levelled the scores.
The rest of this half was all Letchworth with several telling chips from Donald being followed by the back line.
However their only reward was a further Donald penalty and several clear try scoring chances were wasted or thwarted by good Bury defence. The score thus remained 6-3 at the interval.
Playing towards the Baldock end, Letchworth sought to gain ground by territorial kicking but twice Donald overcooked these and Bury took the ground gratefully when called back for lineouts.
Much of the play remained in midfield much to the home crowd's frustration.
However it was Robinson who broke through several tackles and fed Rick Streets who in turn found dynamic skipper Jaggi Johal storming down the wing.
With Streets taking a different angle, Johal fed the ball to the winger who cut through for a great try under the posts followed by Donald's conversion to make it 13-3.
Letchworth's confidence grew once the Bury number six was binned for 10 minutes but they failed to capitalise on several scoring chances. A fine break out of defence saw the Bury backs going the length of the field to score a seven pointer - a score that should have been snuffed out in their own 22.
The final five minutes produced a thriller and in the last minute Bury were awarded a penalty on the 10m line. This time their kicker made no mistake and the scores were tied.
A last minute attempted drop goal by Donald drifted wide and Letchworth's frustration was clear to see at the end.
However Letchworth had turned in a far better performance and can hope to build on this as the season progresses.
* The seconds, thirds and fourths went down narrowly to their Harlow counterparts but the under-16s put in a stunning performance to crush Grasshoppers 55-5 on Sunday.