Letchworth beat Fullerians to book semi-final place
PUBLISHED: 14:53 06 February 2017 | UPDATED: 14:53 06 February 2017
Letchworth GC Rugby Club stamped their authority on the game against Fullerians in the final 15 minutes to land victory in this rearranged league and cup double header.
Returning fly-half Glyn Hughes was most influential bagging 19 points without shifting much out of second gear, and he in turn inspired the players around him especially line-out star James Eliaschewsky who had another fine game as Letchworth booked their place in the semi-final of the Herts Cup where they will face Bishop’s Stortford.
Hughes, who started out at Letchworth some eight years ago, has graced the top echelons of rugby including Northampton Wasps and Leeds Carnegie but with his latest club London Welsh folding several weeks ago he has returned to Letchworth as player-coach for the rest of the season.
And with Fran Denny returning from injury and both Ifereimi Vukinavanua and Dave Hill firing well in the back line this was a Letchworth side confident of running the ball wide.
Early Letchworth pressure paid dividends as Eliaschewsky took a great line-out ball and passed to Phil Amuanina who was brought down just short. This allowed Hughes to take on the ball and skip his way over for the opening try.
Fullers replied with a well-worked try after a solid scrum as the winger went in in the corner while Letchworth kicked a penalty just wide in an entertaining opening to the game.
Both sides exchanged penalties, including Hughes putting his kick over for Letchworth, before Fullerians snatched back the lead with a long-range penalty.
Letchworth, though, headed into half-time with the lead with Amuanina dancing over the line to put the Legends 13-11 up.
Hughes kicked Letchworth further in front but two tries in the space of two minutes had Fullerians edge themselves into the lead once more.
A well-worked move saw Fullerians’ winger go in at the corner to tie matters, and straight from the kick off a move down the left split Legends’ defence and the home side went in under the posts with the conversion adding another two points.
Letchworth could have buckled but under the calm leadership of Richard Stokes up front and Kieron Davies at scrum half they fought their way back.
Another fine kick from Hughes reduced the difference to four points and after a fine break from lock Tommy Wilcox another penalty cut it to a single point.
As the heavier Fullerians pack tired so Legends pressed their advantage.
First Hughes unleashed Hill who flew over for a score to put Letchworth back in the driving seat at 27-23.
Then, not long afterwards, a break by Vukinavanua saw Hill stopped just short of the line. But several drives by the forwards were deemed to be held up by the referee before the mercurial Luke Mongston broke from the back of a five-yard set-piece and crashed over for the bonus-point try to secure victory and deny the home side a bonus point of their own.