Side back to form
PUBLISHED: 11:48 26 October 2006 | UPDATED: 11:03 06 May 2010
Letchworth 37 Woodford 7 Letchworth recaptured their early season form in commanding fashion. It was a long afternoon for the struggling visitors, while Letchworth, courtesy of a Giles Cooke hat-trick and a brace of tries from Ian Smith, had a good day at
Letchworth 37 Woodford 7
Letchworth recaptured their early season form in commanding fashion.
It was a long afternoon for the struggling visitors, while Letchworth, courtesy of a Giles Cooke hat-trick and a brace of tries from Ian Smith, had a good day at the office.
Letchworth played with the elements, Woodford receiving the kick with a low sun and keen breeze on their faces.
The early skirmishes were even enough, with Phil Pearson majestic in the lineouts and Gary Glencross prominent in the loose, but it was outside the first break came.
Gavin Donald shaped to kick, then stepped inside and passed through the gap. His break created a lineout five metres out. A well executed catch and drive took Cooke over the line for a try.
Woodford were in no mood to roll over and the game was played at a good pace.
The referee decided to intervene with a yellow for Simon Hill and Woodford's second row.
With Donald's kick working well, Woodford were pinned in their own half.
Jaggi Johal, robust as ever, made a telling tackle to earn a penalty as the ball was not released. Donald converted to extend the lead.
A gilt-edged chance to go further ahead came within minutes. An easy shot at goal was quickly tapped and the moment was lost.
Club skipper Paul Hughes, returning from injury, reminded his team-mates that points make prizes.
With Letchworth's pack in control, Woodford defended well, but were undone by quality handling. After several phases, Cooke was in the right place to steamroll over the last defender, not needing the spare men outside. Donald converted.
Smith, in a rich seam of form, spotted the next gap. He screamed for the ball to go wide and took his try with ease.
Not one to rest on his laurels, the predatory wing got his hands on the ball after good work from the kick off by his pack. He went through the gears again, running round under the sticks for his second try.
Donald converted both and Woodford had conceded 14 points in two minutes to trail 29-0.
Woodford came out with a plan after the break.
Using the wind to get them deep into Letchworth's territory, they took first blood with a lineout catch and drive for their own converted try.
With 'Roboprop' Gary Glencross at the heart of things, Letchworth responded in the best manner, attack.
Scott Quarmby made a telling break, followed by good work from scrum-half Luke Starr.
Woodford had to kill the ball and concede a penalty. Donald despatched that into the wind.
Hughes set up Cooke for his third score. Rolling back the years, he jinked and shimmied down his wing. Slipping inside the cover, he created space outside.
Stretching his legs, the hard working back rower made the ground to take the scoring pass.
It is good news for Letchworth that Cooke is back to match fitness after a year out injured.
Biggest cheer of the day was for replacement John Stamford, as with his first touch he took route one into the heart of the Woodford pack.
Letchworth moved ominously through the gears. Andy Atkinson entered the fray for his return from injury and made an instant impact.
A number of promising moves came close but Letchworth were held out by robust defence.
Woodford were hurt further as two yellow and a red card came their way but their line was not crossed again.
Letchworth entertain Beckenham in the cup this Saturday. The kick-off time has been moved to 2.30pm.
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