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1st XV - Match centre

Letchworth Garden City
Diss
Sat 20 Jan 14:00 - London & SE Division - London 1 North Full time

Letchworth GC. 7 Diss 41

This was a season defining game for Legends...

..having scraped through against fellow relegation strugglers South Woodham Ferrers last weekend. Up till now Diss were still in the mix at the bottom end of the table however their bulk and indeed class shone through to give them a well deserved victory.

It is always invidious to single out one player but Steve Hipkiss, the Diss number eight , displayed his class and rugby skill that he had honed as captain of Cambridge in National one, and was the inspiration for a team that grew in confidence as the match progressed.

For Letchworth, having started off badly, they fought till the end and indeed scored the final try of the game through young scrumhalf Tom Robinson. All of the youngsters in the side played with grit and determination but were unable to stem the bulkier visitors forwards in certain areas of the game and in the conditions the visitors handling throughout was exceptional.

Both sides showed great commitment in awful weather conditions and by the end of the game it was hard to tell the teams apart due to the amount of mud clinging to all the players. Indeed Letchworth skipper Richard Stoke resembled the famous photograph of Fran Cotton emerging like a rhino out of the New Zealand mud as he came off the field.

It was the worst possible start for Legends as after only a few minutes the Diss centre ran a great line to cut through butterlike defence and score a 7 pointer. Minutes later Hipkiss showed his class close to the line gathering the ball brushing off tackle after tackle to go over for another seven points. As the Norfolk Side exerted more pressure upfront they were rewarded with another five pointer and now nearly out of sight after 20 minutes.

However, all credit to the home side as they rallied and enjoyed a 10 minute period of real pressure on the Diss line where several opportunities to score were squandered.

It was Hipkiss, having taken turnover ball, who ran 50 metres up-field to clear the danger and then minutes later scored Diss bonus point try to make the lead 26/0 at half time.

Although they came out for the second half with renewed determination it was Diss who put points on the board within only a few minutes. At 31 nil it was surely game done despite various efforts to get into the visitors 22. Then two quick tries from Diss midway through the second half gave them their final score 41 points.

It is to legends credit that they did not buckle but scrapped and scrapped to the end. Sam Moat won good line out ball and the tireless Dave Hatch won them a penalty. This was quickly taken and nippy scrumhalf Tom Robinson went over for Letchworth's consolation try with Fran Denny adding the two points from his boot.

Despite this loss Letchworth still have points to prove to other sides in this league and even now begin thinking about the year ahead. The side have been remarkably resilient through adversity and have stuck together through thick and thin. As young players they will only grow in stature as their game progresses and the important thing is not to let their heads go down....the sound of Oscar Robinson’s beatbox blaring out of the home sides changing room indicates that they will continue to dog it out with the best.

And it is the best that they will meet next week as they travel to Brentwood who head the league at this stage of the season. There then follows a home match against Haberdashers and there will be a league lunch beforehand....all support is welcome to cheer the boys on and diners can contact Brian Burke on 07768274037.

Team: Robinson O; Cullen; Stokes capt; Hughes G; Hatch ; Jones L; Alison; Moat; Robinson T; Denny; McPherson; Davies; Waters M; Richardson; Waters L
Subs: Hughes G; Garvey; Woodward

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Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

League table

# Team Pl Pts
8. Old Priorians 26 67
9. Fullerians 26 64
10. Ruislip 26 50
11. Diss 26 47
12. Saffron Walden 26 33
13. Letchworth Garden City 26 23
14. South Woodham Ferrers 26 15

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