Tales of the expected
Tabard 37 Letchworth GC 15 The outcome of this London Two North encounter was predictable as Letchworth fell to defeat. Tabard were unbeaten at home and full of confidence, while Letchworth were shaken after a mauling the previous week. And the first half
Tabard 37 Letchworth GC 15
The outcome of this London Two North encounter was predictable as Letchworth fell to defeat.
Tabard were unbeaten at home and full of confidence, while Letchworth were shaken after a mauling the previous week.
And the first half followed that pattern as Tabard were fluent and full of adventure with Letchworth tentative, playing patterns close to the scrum.
A good break by Tabard's centre earned them a penalty for the first points and this was followed by a simple but well-executed blindside move with their winger finishing it with neat footwork.
Letchworth came back with a fine back row move from a scrum. Giles Cooke picked up from eight, fed Lindsey Hogg who found Ian Parkhouse on his shoulder.
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The veteran, revelling in his unaccustomed role at blindside, finished the move for an unconverted try.
Tabard then pressed hard in kind, to be rewarded with a try by their left winger.
Scrummaging was lively, with Tabard's bulky tight head frequently popping out of the confrontation.
It was Darren Spillane who incurred the wrath of the referee though as he gathered the sole yellow card of the day.
Under the cosh again, Letchworth conceded penalty after penalty. The defence fought well but the extra man told in the end for a further score to see them trail 20-5 at the break.
Wise words from coach Phil Waters pepped his side up and the second half was to be a different story. A period of sustained pressure by Letchworth saw them deep in opposition territory.
Just as the pressure was mounting, a massive clearance kick gave Tabard a lineout in Letchworth's corner. The catch and drive was good for a score.
Letchworth attacked again but their only reward was a penalty from Gavin Donald's boot.
Tabard were looking far from fluent but had worked out their plan B. Two further deep kicks resulted in lineouts close in and both ended with scores.
It was left to Letchworth for the final word.
A penalty in front of the posts was tapped. For once, the hands were good as Andy Atkinson went through the defence for a try, Donald stepping up to convert.
Letchworth now host county rivals St Albans in their final league game on April 14.
P The third team beat Old Tottonians 36-7, last year's winners of the Greene King Plate, to reach the semi-finals.
After conceding an early try which was converted, Letchworth hardly ever looked back. Nick Winwood scored their first two tries as they led 10-7 at the break.
Letchworth's pack then destroyed the opposition with Tom Fairhurst next to score, Mark Ellis popping over a superb conversion.
This try was immediately replicated by Fairhurst and converted again by Ellis.
A pushover try stretched the lead and Chris Doe touched down for the last try of the match.