Side are banged up

PUBLISHED: 11:43 28 September 2006 | UPDATED: 10:54 06 May 2010

London Nigerians 27 Letchworth GC 3 Letchworth suffered their first league loss against their enigmatic hosts in the shadow of Wormwood Scrubs. They started brightly with a 50m penalty from the cultured boot of Gavin Donald. The ease of the early score se

London Nigerians 27 Letchworth GC 3

Letchworth suffered their first league loss against their enigmatic hosts in the shadow of Wormwood Scrubs.

They started brightly with a 50m penalty from the cultured boot of Gavin Donald.

The ease of the early score seemed to relax them too much. From the restart, they gave up the ball and were then penalised for lazy retiring so the scores were evened up.

Nigerians' bright young prospect, 6ft 8in Junior Harrison, set up the next score.

Rampaging in the midfield, it was left to diminutive scrum-half Luke Starr to bring him down. He still earned another penalty.

Letchworth rallied briefly but nothing quite clicked. Donald was wide with two goal attempts, neither easy, but within his range.

A cross kick to the waiting Phil Pearson looked to have paid off but he fell over the player he had out jumped and landed inches short of the line.

The stop-start nature of the game was not helped by the presence of only one matchball that was constantly belted over the stand as both sides offended on a regular basis.

Ginge Morris and Jag Johal provided strong defence but Letchworth's inability to get near the scoring zone was a worry as the half stuttered to a close.

It was a case of role reversal after the break as the flamboyant Nigerians played an unusual kicking game, while Letchworth attempted to carry and run.

Their alignment was flat and vulnerable to the rush defence, with home side support arriving first.

The penalty count clicked over. Then just as the home support were apologising for this display of pragmatism, their inside centre sliced through the midfield for a try under the posts.

Lindsey Hogg was almost decapitated by a high tackle. The referee missed the first offence but caught the antagonist as he got his retaliation in first with a flurry of fists.

Even this yellow card could not galvanise Letchworth.

Donald made a fine break, drew the cover and slipped the ball inside to Pearson for a certain try. As he took the pass, his hamstring went, felling him as if hit by a sniper.

The Nigerians' kicker potted another couple of long range goals to put the match well out of sight.

Letchworth face league leaders Tring at Baldock Road this Saturday, with a sponsors' lunch before kick-off.

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