Dream beginning

PUBLISHED: 10:15 26 January 2006 | UPDATED: 09:30 06 May 2010

Darren Messenger

Darren Messenger

Letchworth GC 24 Thurrock 7 A pulsating first 40 minutes saw Letchworth complete a league double over their visitors from Essex. The outstanding first-half display saw some of the best rugby played at Baldock Road for years. Their forwards managed to tame

Letchworth GC 24 Thurrock 7

A pulsating first 40 minutes saw Letchworth complete a league double over their visitors from Essex.

The outstanding first-half display saw some of the best rugby played at Baldock Road for years.

Their forwards managed to tame the lively visitors' pack, giving the backs a superb platform to run the ball at Thurrock at every opportunity.

Letchworth made their intentions clear from the opening whistle as the backs set up several phases of play deep in the Thurrock half.

Veteran centre Ian Parkhouse broke clear in the centre before feeding the ball to Phil Pearson who dashed over. Andy Atkinson kicked the conversion from wide out and the hosts were on their way.

Minutes later, scrum-half Jimmy Tirrell took a quick penalty to make 50m. Unfortunately the move ended with a Thurrock penalty.

The Essex side had 10 minutes of pressure inspired by strong running from their outside centre.

But Letchworth weathered the storm and Kiwi flanker Lindsay Hogg set up a maul in midfield.

The ball was moved quickly with Tim Gray coming into the line to feed winger Ian Smith who in turn found Darren Messenger in support as the Thurrock defence was cut in two.

The fly-half touched down by the posts and Atkinson soon made it a seven pointer.

Thurrock had opportunities to reduce the deficit but missed two penalties, whereas Atkinson made no mistake when presented with an opportunity to make it 17-0.

This looked like it would remain the score until half time but Ian Skingsley had other plans.

He took a quick 22 drop out and the ball passed through several pairs of hands to reach Pearson guesting on the wing. He galloped nearly 50 yards and then threw the ball inside to Messenger.

The fly-half passed the ball to Parkhouse to score another great try which Atkinson again converted to put the game beyond the visitors as the half-time whistle blew.

The second half was more or less stalemate as Thurrock came out of the blocks fighting.

Letchworth were unable to find their first-half fluency but kept the visitors at bay until the last minute when Chris Banks crashed over for the visitors, and Tredwell converted, to leave the final score 24-7.

P The colts of Letchworth and Hitchin fought out an entertaining 10-10 draw on Sunday with some great rugby played by the youngsters on both sides.

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