Letchworth get the better of North Walsham at Legends Lane
PUBLISHED: 15:58 18 January 2016
So often the bridesmaids this season, Letchworth at last proved that they could also be the brides in upsetting fifth in the table North Walsham on Saturday.
The Norfolk side had demolished a beleaguered Letchworth side in September and were expecting more of the same this time around only for their hosts to deny them victory.
That far off day in September also saw England’s demise against Wales by spurning a penalty in the dying minutes.
Ironically it was now Walsham who eschewed a penalty in the last five minutes to equalise when they were 13-10 down. Instead, they went to the corner and the home side’s defence prevailed despite being down to 14 men at the time.
Legends’ win was even more impressive as they lost the card game two-nil as both Mongston and Shaw were sent to the naughty step in the second half.
After their one point defeat against Brentwood last week Letchworth deserved the rub of the green as Walsham repeatedly refused to kick for goal and went for the glory of a try.
The first half was balanced with an early Dylan Parsons penalty the only score.
Severe Letchworth pressure seemed to have been rewarded with a try driven over after 30 minutes but the referee adjudged that a Walsham hand had got between ball and line.
In the last minute of the half Walsham kicked downfield and caught the Letchworth defence on the hop. They were rewarded by a penalty, but to the relief of the home faithful the ball struck the posts and did not go over.
Early in the second half a long penalty from Parsons just made it over the bar and made it 6-0.
Almost immediately Walsham were back on the score board with a well struck penalty
Unfortunately Parsons failed to add to his tally when his next penalty drifted just wide of the post.
At this point Mongston had been carded for 10 minutes and Letchworth were struggling as more pressure from North Walsham took a penalty into the far corner. From the drive they went over with the fine conversion making it 10-6.
Harvey Howman was introduced at scrum-half and certainly had a dynamic 30 minutes.
From a Letchworth move he spotted Luke Mongston running a fine line and flashed the ball to him and the flanker needed no second invitation to run over the try line. It was then converted by Parsons
Legends were not out of the woods as Walsham attacked and only a great tackle back by Hughes, who showed an amazing turn of pace to bring down the marauder, prevented a try.
Minutes later a great diving tackle by Joe Shaw held down his opponent and the referee adjudged he had infringed so sent him to the sideline where he saw out the remainder of the game.
The price of Legends’ victory was measured in that a fantastic tackle by Richard Streets saw the talented centre put out his shoulder again and was forced to limp from the field
Walsham again attacked in the dying minutes and it was at this time that the kickable penalty was ignored for the attempt at a try in the corner. However, there was great defence by Letchworth and especially prop Sam Staff and Ross Allen.
As the ball was booted out at the end of the game there was a mighty roar from the home supporters who realised what a great victory this was, and they now hope that this will set the club up on a positive footing for the rest of the season
Coach Jimmy Tirrell said: “Whilst we did not play as well as we did against Brentwood, to hold out and beat a top level side can only give us confidence in the games against Barking away [this weekend] and Chingford at home on January 30.”
There will be a league lunch before the Chingford game.
Diners should contact Brian Burke on (07768) 274037.