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1st XV - Match centre

Enfield Ignatians
Letchworth Garden City
Sat 6 Oct 15:00 - London & SE Division - London 2 North West Full time

IGNATIANS SHOW THEIR RESOLVE IN SECOND-HALF COMEBACK

writes Jonathan Landi

IGNATIANS SHOW THEIR RESOLVE IN SECOND-HALF COMEBACK

Enfield Ignatians 18 Letchworth Garden City 11

ENFIELD IGNATIANS did very well to come from behind to master Letchworth Garden City in the wind and the rain at Donkey Lane on Saturday.

The blue and golds were the slow burners in this game and they trailed 8-3 at the break after Letchworth claimed a charge down score and a penalty.

The bill continued to mount in the second and Ignatians’ task became that much harder early in the second period when Letchworth rifled over a second penalty to extend their lead to 11-3.

However, Ignatians eventually roused themselves for a grandstand finish and, given a helping hand by some Letchworth indiscipline in the form of two yellow cards, they turned the game on its head.

Their fitness levels and new found self-belief were other decisive factors as Ignatians, with the penalty count by now largely in their favour, cranked their game up a notch or two.

After Letchworth cynically dragged down the maul five metres out, Ignatians were afforded a catch and drive opportunity from the lineout which they tucked away at the second attempt.

Charlie Hoy, who had an immense game, made another towering leap at the lineout. Well set up by MOM Dave Gear (pictured), the driving maul made good yardage before Liam Dunne forced his way over.

Jake Bates, having landed a first-half penalty, made no mistake with the very well taken conversion, before landing his third kick at goal to gift Ignatians a slender 13-11 lead.

It all boiled down who would score next but it was Letchworth who continued to tread water as Ignatians again camped close to the line, and they were rewarded in the dying minutes

Jordan Wilson, probably as fit as he’s ever been, sniped left and, as the ball was worked through the hands, Ignatians seemed to have run out of room with the ball reaching Gear on the far left flank.

The odds favoured the defence at this point, particularly as the vice-captain seemed to be losing the battle with gravity by slipping on the
greasy surface.

However, not before the flanker deftly managed to get away the inside pass by feeding the supporting hooker, Ben Mills, who pumped his legs furiously and made it to the line.

On an afternoon when the blue and golds overcame a stiff character examination, their second-half performance was a welcome contrast to the tame showing in the first-half.

Admittedly, the foul conditions made for something of a Russian Roulette scenario as both sides took it turns to cough up possession as the leather became a bar of soap and was spilled frequently.

However, it was Letchworth who secured the lucky numbers in the first-half lottery as they successfully charged down Bates’s attempted clearance kick close to the line.

The wicked bounce of the ball, coupled to the elements, saw the ball drift towards the try line and this made the task of Chris Gibbs that much easier as he eagerly devoured the gift that came his way.

Otherwise Letchworth clicked twice via the boot of Lewis Waters on an afternoon when we welcomed Luke Haverly and Gareth Rutt to the Ignatians’ family.

It also seems pertinent to salute the commendable work-rate of Hadee Fayaz and Frank Antwi.

Coach Shane Manning said: “Our game plan went out of the window in the first-half, as we tried to run the ball too much and off-load too much in what were bad conditions.

“We turned it around in the second-half as we started to play more for territory and we were able to keep up the pressure which showed in the penalty count.

“It was a good comeback by the team and, if anything, I thought we played with a little more self-belief following the Hemel Hempstead loss. There is still lots to work on but it’s encouraging.”

Ignatians, currently fifth in the table, are next in action on October 20th when they are away to Harpenden.

Ignatians: Luke Haverly, Johnny Dixon, Keir Bonnar, Michael Hall, Hadee Fayaz, Jake Bates ©, Jordan Wilson, Dom Nott, Ben Mills, Matt Pollard, Gareth Rutt, Frank Antwi, Liam Dunne, Dave Gear (vc), Charlie Hoy, Shane Manning and Harry Masini.

Quilter Kids First Skills Series: Hide the Attacker

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

Other London 2 North West results

Belsize Park
42
0
Hackney
Chiswick
21
5
Hammersmith & Fulham
10
36
Harpenden
26
6
Grasshoppers

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Belsize Park 5 22
2. Welwyn 6 22
3. Harpenden 5 20
4. Chiswick 5 19
5. Hemel Hempstead 6 14
6. Enfield Ignatians 5 13
7. Hackney 6 12

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