Promotion confirmed for Letchworth - possibly - but Hitchin still scrapping for title

Letchworth are guaranteed to finish at least third in London Three North West.

Letchworth are guaranteed to finish at least third in London Three North West. - Credit: LAURIE BROWNE

While confusion reigns supreme about promotion and relegation in the rugby union pyramid, one thing has become clear - Letchworth will be in another division next season.

Their 36-17 win away to Ruislip means they will finish third at the very least in London Two North West, a position they were told at the start of the campaign carries with it promotion.

The uncertainty though is the upcoming restructure from the RFU, with some second-teams from clubs higher up potentially being included.

Until that is known, details remain clouded but Letchworth's good form has got them in a good place and they could go higher when they face the side currently second in the table, Old Priorians, on the final day.

They will have to play better because while this success in west London was relatively convincing, head coach Baz Basra felt the Legends put in an indifferent effort.

Mud was again a factor, although nowhere near as bad as seven days earlier, but it didn't favour the visitors' faster backs. 

And the heavier pack of the home club took advantage in the first half by grinding out a 17-12 lead at the break.

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Letchworth had twice taken the lead though, first through Joe Allison and then thanks to the pace of Tatenda Gurure and a clever offload from Kyle Hughes.

Hem Johal added the conversion to the second score but was off target after Arun Johal had levelled the scores early in the second period.

Letchworth had to survive 10 minutes of home pressure before getting their noses in front for the third and final time, Hughes securing the bonus point with the conversion added.

Martin Day's converted score gave Letchworth the breathing space of two scores and they wrapped things up even after second-row Daniel Peasnell had been sent-off, Hughes getting his second.

If there is confusion in Letchworth's division about promotion numbers, then that is doubly so one level down in North West Three.

Six teams have a chance of winning with the title with three weekends left to play, the sextet separated by five points.

Hitchin are one of those sides but they lost their place at the top of the tree with an 18-14 defeat to Hendon, the side that have replaced them.

The Hedgehogs do have one game in hand on the two above them, Welwyn the team in second, and could regain position one with victory over Cheshunt on Saturday, the sixth team in the hunt.

This was their first loss in 2022 with most of the points coming in the first half.

They conceded a try out wide inside the opening quarter and another in similar fashion later on before a penalty handed Hendon a 15-7 half-time lead.

Will Rooney got the Hitchin try, bursting through three tackles to score, with Ben Wiggins adding the conversion.

A home penalty in the second half had threatened to deny the visitors even a bonus point but they got it right at the death, Ian Crompton taking his tally to seven tries in the last three games.

Wiggins sent the kick over but there was no more time left.