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...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Dorking 7s

The weather on Sunday was just the right combination of warmth and breeze to make conditions ideal for playing Sevens rugby and watching it. Unfortunately, the underfoot conditions were just the wrong combination of rather sparse grass and several weeks of dry weather to create a surface more akin to concrete than the damp, grassy plain ideal for rugby. Such is the lot of rugby playing girls ....

In the absence of the usual U15s coaches due to comittments at the Herts Youth Games, the U15s were coached at Dorking by last years U18s captain, Katie. The squad was bolstered by a number of new players which allowed them to enter a tournament without combining with another club for the first time this season. However, that also meant that it was a very novice squad to take on, as Fate played her hand, the very accomplished London Irish team in the first match. That they only conceded 6 tries in that game is a great achievement.

In the second group game against Ealing, the girls showed a marked improvement having learned many lessons from the initial encounter with London Irish and this game was a much closer affair. Having taken the lead with a try by Sydney, Letchworth conceded two tries to leave themselves trailing by 5 points coming to the final stages. However, such was the determinaton of the team that they piled the pressure on and were rewarded with a try by Laura to level the match.

The improved form continued in the next group game against the hosts, Dorking, with Sydney and Jade scoring tries although the more experienced home side rolled out winners by 30-10. The final game against Folkestone was a step too far for the Letchworth novices with exhaustion and the hard ground taking their inevitable toll but the girls should be really proud of their effort and comittment and on the improvements they made during the day. This was definately a step forward from the Gloucester 10s tournament just a few weeks ago. Well done, girls!

The U18s found themselves in a group with Ellingham & Ringwood, Solent Sirens, Folkestone and Ealing but, due to a shortage of players, the London side combined with Old Caterhamians in the other group leaving Letchworth with just the 3 group opponents. The first match was against Ellingham & Ringwood who were, unfortunately for Letchworth, on top form running in 8 tries with Natalie taking advantage of Nikki's tackle near the try line to reply with one under the posts in the closing moments for the game.

The second match was against Solent Sirens who we have not played before. Letchworth took control of the game from the start and built up a good lead with tries by Natalie, Mel and Nikki but Sirens came fighting back to score 2 tries of their own and finish the game only one score behind.

By this time, the Letchworth girls - and everyone else in the tournament, I should think - were carrying a few knocks and we were reduced to having only 9 girls to compete in the final group game against Folkestone which was a rerun of last weekend's plate semifinal at Worthing that Letchworth had won in 'sudden death' extra time. A close game was expected and that's exactly what we got with Laura scoring a brace but Folkestone running out winners by 15-10.

So at the end of the group stage, Folkestone and Letchworth were level on points but Folkestone took second place (behind Ellingham & Ringwood) by virtue of having beaten Letchworth in the group game. Being placed third in the group gave Letchworth a Plate semi-final against Chobham. Although many of the girls were rather(!) bruised and battered by this point, there was a general resolve amongst them to do the very best they could - as one player put it, "We don't ever give up!"

The match against Chobham was a battle which, ultimately, Letchworth were to lose but they did indeed give it their best shot even when reduced to having only 7 players available.
Highlight of the semi-final from a Letchworth perspective was a try which started inside the Letchworth 22 with Nikki drawing a defender before passing the ball to Mel, who did the same before passing to Natalie, who outran them all to the tryline where, despite being tackled, she reached out to score. The following 10 photos span the 14 seconds it took -

Great effort, Girls!

Letchworth try scorers :
U15 : Sydney (2), Jade, Laura W
U18 : Natalie 3, Laura B (2), Mel H, Nikki


Letchworth U15s 0 v 30 London Irish
Letchworth U15s 10 v 10 Ealing
Letchworth U15s 10 v 30 Dorking
Letchworth U15s 0 v 50 Folkestone

Letchworth U18s 5 v 40 Ellingham & Ringwood
Letchworth U18s 15 v 10 Solent Sirens
Letchworth U18s 10 v 15 Folkestone
Letchworth U18s 5 v 25 Chobham

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