Success of junior Legends paving the way for better times ahead at Letchworth
PUBLISHED: 09:18 09 May 2019
Letchworth are hoping their exciting 34-31 Herts Middlesex Merit Cup final victory over Ampthill is a sign of good times ahead.
While the Legends Lane-based rugby club's first team needed a dramatic last-day victory to avoid a second-successive relegation, the second string have been making steady progress under new coach Dave Hynard.
They had already been promoted to Herts Middlesex Merit Table One but they made it a double with the win over their Bedfordshire opponents.
It was never going to be an easy for the junior Legends against a side that had not only won the championship this season but defeated them in both regular season games.
There were also the elements to deal with as a bitter wind blew the length of the pitch and sent a chill through the travelling supporters.
Letchworth began the game with the wind at their backs and they used it to their advantage when Josh Davies slotted an early penalty from the half-way line.
Numerous breaks through the Ampthill defence showed Letchworth's intent and with Arun Johal, Dan Denooijer and Lewis Waters were particularly threatening and helped them score two early tries.
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Ampthill quickly realised the threat posed by the Legends backs and switched tactics to a forwards-based game plan.
And their heavier Ampthill pack soon turned the table, forcing the young side into penalty trouble.
The change of momentum saw them score either side of half-time but the bravery of the Letchworth defence kept hold of their slender lead.
Rob Brierley, David Rae and Mike Gray led this charge, with tackle after tackle making it difficult for Ampthill to gain ground.
Letchworth were still deep in penalty trouble and it meant very little possession came their way.
But crucially, when they did get the ball, they made it count with some fine counter attacking rugby.
Glynn Hughes and Sam Woodward made huge impacts off the bench and the lethal finishing of the backs kept the scoreboard ticking over.
A further Ampthill score with 30 seconds to go gave them one more chance to overturn the slender three-point lead but a mature Letchworth were able to run down the clock and seal the win.
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