London League 1: RUISLIP 51 - LETCHWORTH GC 17
Ruislip capitalise on Letchworth's mounting toll of injuries
By Brian Burke
As the score suggests this was not a good day at the office for Mick Jones boys on their first away outing of the season. Though well beaten by a competent Ruislip side there was some mitigating circumstances and some things to draw from this experience. Four injuries to forwards meant that the side finished with 14 and the last few tries thus added a bit of disparity to the score in what was otherwise a fairly even encounter for long periods of time.
Skipper Richard Stokes limped off after only 10 minutes and was later followed by Conor Turner who played on valiantly and Ben Cullen the hooker and amazingly the indestructible Dave Hatch had to sit out the last 20 minutes.
There were gutsy performances from Oscar Robinson and Trevor Garvey and also young Alex Bowles who fitted in well in the back row. Joe Alison also had a fine performance in difficult circumstances while new scrum half Gibbs showed his class when he was able. However it was out wide that Ruislip held the aces. Outside centre Danny Barry caused all sorts of trouble as did winger Horne and full back Robyn. Added to this the astute playmaking of player coach Alex Fieldhouse meant that the home side were worth their bonus point victory.
Letchworth were first on the scoresheet with a well struck penalty from Fran Denny who then saw two long range efforts drift wide. Ruislip then replied winning a Letchworth line out and some straight running saw them in for a seven pointer. Their flying winger then went 50 yards to score up the hill. Another two tries and two penalties meant the game was fast receding for Legends before a good drive saw Ash Mitchell feed Arun Johal who dived over and Denny converted from out wide.
The second half began with Letchworth on the offensive and from another drive Dan Duke went over for another try wide out superbly converted by Denny. However at 32/17 this was the closest that Letchworth got and with the ever mounting toll of injuries it was inevitable that given the notorious Ruislip slope the home side ran in three fairly soft tries before the end.
With several returnees next week and a home crowd it will be hoped that the side will pick themselves up from this first encounter and show Fullers that Legends are a team to be reckoned with.