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...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A strange day at the National 7s ......

Having got well and truly stuck in traffic in Dunstable on the way to the National 7s last year, we made a point of getting away early and travelling by a more northerly route which, of course, meant that this year we arrived half an hour before registration was due to start. It seemed like an age waiting to see the draw and discover who our opponents would be and it was nail-biting stuff ... last year we had been grouped with Worcester, the eventual winners, and a very lively Reading team who had confined us to the Plate competition. This year surely we would be luckier ..... when the draw came we found that we had been grouped with Tynedale and, of course, Worcester again! However, the fourth member of the group had withdrawn so the remaining 3 teams were chasing two places in the cup competition.

Our first encounter was with Worcester and things did not start too well - Nikki's drop-out was collected by a Worcester back who accelerated past the entire Letchworth team to score. The game then settled down to a well contested affair and we turned round at half-time trailing by only 2 tries and, with the quite noticeable slope in our favour for the second half, we were hopeful of making inroads into that lead. But the second half started almost as badly as the first had done and Letchworth conceded a try early on. This was followed by even worse as Sasha managed to collide with a Worcester player mouth to head and Sasha's mouth - or, more precisely, her tooth - came off worse. With a badly broken incisor, Sasha was forced to retire from the tournament which was very unfortunate for her and her teammates. The game resumed with Worcester clearly in control with a 4 try lead and, despite spirited performances from the Letchworth girls, Worcester ran in a couple more tries for a 40-0 victory.

Having lost the first game by a big margin, Letchworth knew that an outright victory was essential to see them into the cup competition and they came out for the match with Tynedale in a positive frame of mind. It wasn't long before Hayley stormed through for a try under the posts which Nikki converted via the crossbar. Letchworth seemed to be in full control when Hayley crossed for a second try out wide but Tynedale fought back well to get a try before the interval. After the break, Randy sprinted through to increase the Letchworth lead and also converted the effort herself. At 19-5, the game was secure ... but Tynedale didn't quite see it that way! In the last minute Tynedale broke throught the Letchworth lines to score a try and convert it leaving themselves just 7 points adrift as they restarted the game with only 20 seconds left. The restart bounced uncomfortably down the pitch towards the Letchworth try line evading several attempts at capture before, finally, Carla secured it and the game for Letchworth.

Four Tynedale defenders between Hayley and her ultimate goal - the loo!

Having finished in runners-up spot in group A, Letchworth were scheduled to meet the winners of group B in the quarter-final but, with three teams tying on points in that group, it took some time to establish that, on the basis of a superior points difference, our opponents would be Basford. Again, Letchworth conceded a try early on when the referee's call of 'advantage yellow' was misinterpreted by Letchworth to mean their advantage and Basford drove through to score. Letchworth fought back strongly but were repeatedly thwarted by foul play - the referee awarding countless penalties in their favour - and were unable to make the vital score. Basford, meanwhile, notched up another try before the interval to put more pressure on the Letchworth girls. The second half was very keenly contested with Letchworth attacking strongly throughout, but it was Basford who broke away to score again and put the game beyond Letchworth before the teams traded tries on the final minutes.

So Letchworth girls ended the day as beaten cup quarter-finalists - the best they have ever achieved at the National 7s. Well done, girls!

However, it really did feel like a most peculiar day : we were at the tournament for 6 hours to play just 3 matches! Being in a group of 3 rather than 4 teams obviously gives a better chance of getting through to the cup competition but it also turned the day into a long drawn out trio on individual matches rather than a tournament - the exact opposite of the ridiculous rush of the National 10s where we were being told to line up for the start of the next game before the players had even finished the handshakes of the current one! Somewhere between these two schedules lies sanity.

Results :
Letchworth 0 v 40 Worcester
Letchworth 19 v 12 Tynedale
Letchworth 7 v Basford 29
U18s Cup winners : Exeter Saracens RFC
U18s Cup runners-up : Wimbourne RFC

Letchworth scorers :
Tries : Hayley (3), Randy
Conversions : Nikki (2), Randy

And, finally, many congratulations to Exeter Saracens and Wimbourne U18s!


  1. Also apparently Welwyn won the plate. Nice to see the rest to Hertfordshire managing to keep up... ;-)

  2. Of the games played, it is also maybe worth mentioning tha Worcester's ability to get to any breakdown and turn us over was pretty decisive in that encounter - they were incredibly quick. I suspect that, from what I hear, Exeter played a more "Sevens" game - keeping the ball alive more rather than going into contact - which we need to learn in this form of the game.

    Also the great mystery of exactly what was "holding up" Hayley when she "scored" her second "try" against Basford? As we saw and heard, even neutrals watching were confused by that one - did some grass get in the way of the ball being put down? Didn't matter in the end but it did put the cap on an unsatisfactory game.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Total Pageviews (since June 2009)

Sport Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory