South Woodham Ferrers 10 Letchworth GC 14
As a relegation dogfight this game had it all. ..
...two lowly sides struggling to keep their seasons alive and in the end it was Letchworth who were triumphant but only just.
The lead changed several times during the game where there were few open chances for scoring and both sides defences held firm for long periods. In the end it was to be decision making for both sides that settled the outcome. Legends brave decision to go for the corner and eschew a penalty in front of the posts paid dividends whereas Ferrers had several opportunities to convert their ample possession into points with kickable penalties and got nothing as a result.
As the Iron Duke might have said following Waterloo ... it was a damned close run thing! Ferrers now seem doomed after only one season in this league but Legends, the leagues longest serving outfit, can breathe again but there is still much to do before the end of the season to ensure safety and another year in London 1.
For the first fifteen minutes it looked as if Letchworth would totally overcome their Essex counterparts. A penalty in the first minute went narrowly wide from Denny’s boot and then Letchworth laid siege to the Ferrers line. Wave after wave from the Letchworth forwards were stopped inches short of the whitewash as Ferrers defended desperately. Eventually they went away with three points from the trusty boot of Denny but scant reward for so much pressure. This was accentuated from the kick off when slack Letchworth play allowed the home sides backs to move the ball well and score a good try which was then converted.
Back roared Legends but again a try proved elusive though Denny pegged back the lead to a point with another penalty. However Ferrers looked dangerous with ball to hand and a good break from the winger was just foiled yards from the visitors line. A Ferrers' penalty made it 10:6 at half time with all to play for in the second period.
The third period belonged to Letchworth as they pressured the home line. Denny made it a one point game with another kick and then five minutes later another penalty in front of the posts looked like the lead would change hands again. However skipper Richard Stokes elected to kick to the corner and go for the seven points much to the consternation of coach Mick Jones and the travelling faithful. However it was to be a brave decision as Garvey took great ball and then the forwards drove in with Robinson and Hughes to the fore. Allison and Cullen worked the maul blind and there was Richard Stokes to dive over in the corner and vindicate his decision. Denny went narrowly wide with the conversion from the touch line but now there were twenty nail biting minutes left for the Letchworth travelling support as urged on by a large home crowd Ferrers attacked the visitors line continually.
Ferrers were awarded several kickable penalties but each time elected to go for the corner. One of them actually ran dead over the end line giving Letchworth a relieving scrum on the ten metre line. So it went on with the home side camped in Legends' line. A crunching tackle in the centre by veteran Kieron Davies epitomised Letchworth's determination to keep their line intact and so it proved at No Side as Ferrers heads went down but Letchworth delighted at only their third victory of the season. This one was actually witnessed by El Prez!!
Legends can now look forward to a crucial game at Legends Lane against Diss next week. All members and followers are urged to come down and give their vocal support to this feisty team who refuse to lie down despite many adversities. There is a lunch beforehand and diners can contact Brian Burke on 07768 274037 to book their places.
The Wanderers also has a good victory on the road 24/14 to complete a successful day for the Club senior sides .