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 26, 2009

Harpenden Heroines!

It was a warm and sunny day at Harpenden on Saturday where the National 7s were taking place. As Wonky et al were away at the Bournemouth 7s, last years U18s captain, Katie, and 2006/7 coach, Joe, filled in as U18s coaches for the day. For several of the Letchworth girls (Mel, Hayley, Carla, Nikki and coach Katie), this was a return to the club where they had first competed in the tournament in 2005 and lost all their games ... ... needless to say, this year they were hoping for something much better than that!

An interesting feature of this years event was that only one club official was allowed on the pitch during the game. So although we came with first aiders, water carrier and coaches, only one of us could wear the yellow jacket ... it was but a moments thought before we nominated Katie who tried to stay cool carrying the water and first aid bag. Someone suggested that, if we gave her a couple of flags and a whistle, she could run both lines and referee the game as well ...... the photo shows what Katie thought of that suggestion!

As has been remarked many times before, Letchworth U18s always get drawn in the same group as Worcester. Well, not this time! We were actually in a group with Wimborne & Ellingham, Esher and the Barbarians and our first match was against the south-west team. For the second time in recent weeks the Letchworth girls started the tournament well by taking the game to Wimborne and keeping the pressure on. This was a very good, fiercely competed game of rugby which Letchworth seemed to have under control. A couple of tries by Lizell saw them in the lead 12-10 coming into the closing stages, only for Letchworth to be denied victory by a Wimborne try with the last move of the game.

The second group game against Esher was a 'must win' game for Letchworth if they were to proceed to the cup competition. Again, this was a hard fought game but this time it was the opposition who took an early lead and Letchworth who were chasing an equaliser through most of the game. In the end two late tries for Esher gave the scoreline (0-15) a rather lopsided look for what was an evenly balanced game.

So, after two close games - and two defeats - Letchworth were already confined to the Plate competion and were feeling that they were getting no help whatsoever from Lady Luck. Nevertheless, there was a determination in the camp that they should not go home empty handed on a day when 7 players were playing their last U18s game for the club and girls section founder and manager, John Birch, was in charge for the last time.
The final group game against a very recently formed Barbarians side was a game that finally saw Letchworth get a victory by 33- 7 to secure 3rd place in the group.

Letchworth now entered the knock-out stage of the event by playing a plate quarter final against Aylestone St. James. Although Letchworth were playing well, took an early lead and maintained it throughout, this was another close game which ended with the score at 22-15 in Letchworth's favour.
The Plate semi-final against Tynedale was another good performance from the Letchworth girls with Hayley, Lizell and Jess running in tries to secure the match 21-10 and earn a place in the Plate final for the second time in 3 seasons.
Uniquely this season, Letchworth had reached the final match of a tournament and still had a full strength squad to use in that game! The Plate final saw Letchworth drawn against H3 who we have never played before but the girls were determined not to fall at the final hurdle on their last match together. Letchworth put on a very strong display to put 5 tries past H3 and win the final 29-14.

The victory meant that in last three visits to the National 7s, Letchworth U18 girls have got to the cup quarter-final once and won the plate twice. What a great way to finish off the season!


Group matches :

Letchworth 12 v 15 Wimborne & Ellingham
Letchworth 0 v 17 Esher
Letchworth 33 v 7 Barbarians

Plate Quarter-final : Letchworth 22 v 15 Aylestone St. James

Plate Semi-final : Letchworth 21 v 10 Tynedale

Plate Final : Letchworth 29 v 14 H3

Letchworth scorers

Tries : Lizell (7), Hayley (4), Jess (4), Laura (2), Natalie, Nikki
Conversions : Nikki (8), Lizell (2), Hayley

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