First competitive home games in months finish with Letchworth and Hitchin enjoying fine victories
- Credit: LETCHWORTH RFC
Letchworth's first competitive game at home in more than 18 months did not disappoint the large crowd as they beat Datchworth in an enthralling derby.
Taking to the field in their smart new kit, the Legends, under the leadership of Scott Quarnby, attacked from the first minute and ended up with a 41-12 victory.
A flowing move ended with a try for full-back Chris Gibbs and he would go on to get a hat-trick, the second of them just moments later after Alex Lennon had been stopped short of the line after a 60-metre dash.
Hem Johal converted that and then joined in the try-scoring himself with a clever dummy.
Datchworth weren't helped by a yellow card but they dug deep and arguably had their best spell of the game, counting themselves unfortunate not to score before half-time when only stout defence kept them out.
Their first score came after the break and down the blind side following a scrum penalty and they backed it up with another score in the corner.
That made it 24-12 and hinted at a grandstand finish until Gibbs got his third after a fine move involving Vinnie Kevans, Tommy Wilcock and Luke Mongston.
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The final 15 minutes ended with Dan Dukes crashing over and Archie Wilkins completing the five-point success.
Hitchin made it two from two but they could have made it much easier against Royston, unforced errors preventing them from getting more than a 21-8 success.
It meant they missed out on a bonus point but the start had looked so promising, Ian Compton crossing under the posts to make Ben Wiggins’ conversion a formality.
Both sides showed a willingness to run the ball at every opportunity and from a penalty Royston cut the lead to four.
Hitchin spurned one kickable chance for a scrum but while that came to nothing, Will Evans followed Compton's lead by scoring between the sticks, Wiggins again converting.
Royston too turned down a kick late in the first half without reward but they did score a try in the corner after the interval.
Hitchin though scored their third try after winning the ball back at a scrum, Bertrand Debeuf the scorer this time with Wiggins adding the extras.