Formed 2004 ... Herts 7s U14 Runners-up 2005 ... North Herts U14 team, Herts Youth Games 2005 runners-up (coached by Letchworth)... Herts Superteams U14 Runners-up 2005 ... Herts SuperTeams "Fairplay" winners 2006 ... Rochford 10s U17 Champions 2006 ... East Midlands 10s U17 Runners-up 2007 ... East Midlands 10s U17 "Fairplay" winners 2007 ... National 10s U17 5th place and "Fairplay" winners 2007 ... Herts 7s U17 Plate runners-up 2007 ... National 7s U17 Plate winners 2007 ... RFU "President's XV" Award winners 2007 ... Herts Superteams winners 2007 ... Midlands 10s U18 Runners-up 2008 ... National 10s U18 4th place 2008 ... North Herts U11 team, Herts Youth Games 2008 runners-up (coached by Letchworth girls) ... London and SE 7s U18 Plate runners-up 2008 ... Herts 7s U18s runners-up 2008 ... National 7s U18s quarter-finalists 2008 ... Gloucester City 10s U18 Bowl runner-up (6th) 2009 ... Worthing 10s U18 Plate runner-up 2009 ... National 7s U18 Plate winners 2009... Worthing 10s U15 Plate winners 2010... Worthing 10s U18 Shield winners 2010... Herts 7s U15 and U18 Bowl runners-up 2010... National 7s U18 Plate runners-up 2010...

Sunday, March 25, 2007

National Cup: a tale of two good days out

News from our U14s (playing with the "Hertfordshire Barbarians") is a bit thin at the moment, but after a win in their opening fixture they lost the next two, finishing third overall. In actual fact this was an impressive performance considering that in the end they only had twelve players, thanks to illness, injury (including our own "small" Hayley's broken elbow),and so on - so those girls had to play all three games without a break. Which I gather they did - against some pretty tough opposition too.

** Coach Simon Shutler has published a full report on the Herts website. **

Meanwhile "Letchbury" (or was it "Sudworth"? We really will have to agree out team names beforehand if we do this again!) U17s put in a truly "Legendary" performance at a pleasantly sunny Camberley.

Drawn first up against to play favourites Welwyn (who seemed to field a number of new faces, though Sasha said she knew a few from TDGs) our largely untried combination did extraordinarily well. Certainly it was impressive to see the first-half scrums where the Letchbury pack - many of whom do not even play county rugby - were more than match Welwyn's regional all-stars! Maybe if Joe hadn't switched the front rows at half time the result might have been narrower than the eventual 17-0 - Welwyn's second try certainly coming as a result of their pack capitalising on a now less powerful Sudworth front row. But the policy is always to play everyone fairly, and in the end even this pack was holding their multi-talented opposition - and by the players' reactions at the end of the game it was clear which team felt they had performed to their highest abilities.

Bouyed up by that - and now getting used to each other - Letchbury now took the other two-club combination "Ivelbridge" (Ivel Barbarians combined with Bridgewater), from Somerset. Very much your typical southern team with a fast back line but limited forward power, Ivelbridge had lost their opening game to Wimbourne 7-0 but came out of the blocks impressively. However the combination of Letchworth weight and Sudbury finesse really came into its own - the former stopping Ivels advance, and the latter shooting away to score. By half time Sudworth were 12-0 up, thanks to Sudbury's Jess using her "height" to sneak underneath the Ivelbridge defence and score under the posts. Well, it looked like that from the touchline because how she managed to get through other than by tunneling underneath is anyone's guess. Sasha added the extra two points, about which we will presumably hear for the next year or so.

Two more tries in the second half - including a Hayley special (scored despite her having been injured against Welwyn - thank you Iboprofen the wonder drug!) resulted in a famous 22-0 win over one of the best teams in the south-west.

News now filtered through that Welwyn had lost to Wimborne 7-5, which meant that a win over Dorset's finest would possibly see Letchbury into the final. In the end, though, Wimborne were staggeringly good and won comfortably 26-0. Sudworth could point to the smaller pitch, and could suggest that maybe if the game had come earlier and we'd been able to field a fit Hayley (who by now was asleep in the back of a car) and Stamerz it might have been different - like it might have only been about 20-0! Because Wimborne were just superb in all divisions of the game (even the forwards were pretty good, amazingly so for a southern side). Apparently many of the team are only 14 or 15, which is pretty scary!

And in the end it was also perhaps right to have a national club competition (all be it southern area final) won by the only team that seemed to come from just one club. Good luck to them in the final!

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