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 18, 2009

Herts 7s

As predicted by the BBC weathermen, there was indeed a fair amount of rain in the days leading up to the Herts 7s at Old Albanians to soften the pitches a little compared to the preceding weeks. However, where the BBC did not quite get it right was in their abject failure to provide a dry day for the tournament itself! Sunday was a blustery day with some sunny spells and some rather damp ones but at least the Letchworth HQ tent managed (just!) to withstand the rather fresh wind.

The tournament was scheduled very tightly with only a 2 minute turn around time between matches but this was adhered to remarkably well throughout the day which is the mark of a really well organised event. The schedule for both Letchworth teams was very similar with first games starting on adjacent pitches at 1pm - the late start being due to the pitches being part of the outfield for a morning cricket match! A cricket match which, incidentally, fell foul of the weather and was abandoned when the rain really got going at around 11am. Fortunately, rugby is somewhat more suitable for playing in the wet and, anyway, by the time the rugby started, the rain had dried up and conditions were very good.

The U15s found themselves in a group with a number of established sides (including Worcester, of course!) The first game was against Norfolk Nomads and the Letchworth girls put up a commendable display albeit eventually succumbing by 15-5. The second match saw Letchworth take on Old Northamptonians who proved to be too strong for the amber and black novices and, unsurprisingly, the third game against Worcester was similar. The final group game against Berks Barbarians was a more even contest with the Letchworth girls competing well throughout but ultimately being thwarted by the more experienced side.

So at the end of the group stages, the Letchworth U15s qualified for the 'Egg Cup' final against the hosts Old Albanians. This was a very well contested, even match with both sides repeatedly making inroads into opposition territory. In the end, OAs won the Egg Cup by 12-5 but the Letchworth girls had given them a stern test.

So at the end of the U15s tournament, Letchworth found themselves as runners-up in the Egg Cup and were presented their medals by England star, Maggi Alphonsi -

Meanwhile, on the pitch next door, the Letchworth U18s were starting their campaign in group C with a match against Lichfield & Burton from Staffordshire. Letchworth are notoriously slow starters at tournaments but, for once, they got out of the blocks rather well and scored a couple of tries to take a 12-7 lead. However, Lichfield are a strong side and they fought back to take the lead in the second half with a well worked try and conversion. Letchworth responded quickly to this upset with Natalie breaking down the right wing to score the winning try.

The second group game should have been against Ealing but, unfortunately, the London side were short of players and had to withdraw so Letchworth moved onto their final group game against Old Northamptonians. Right from the start Letchworth took the game by the scruff of the neck by running in 7 tries to ensure they finished top of the group and secured a cup semifinal against local rivals Welwyn.
The last time the Garden Cities played each other was at the National 10s finals in 2007 when Welwyn were victorious by the narrow margin of 5-0. This time Welwyn were in excellent form and, despite the Letchworth girls best efforts, ran out deserved winners 29-5. On the evidence of that performance, it was no surprise that Welwyn went on to win the tournament deservedly beating Reading in the final. Meanwhile, Letchworth had to settle for joint third place with Paviors.

All in all, this was an excellent tournament which both teams thoroughly enjoyed and, best of all, the softer ground certainly kept the grazes and bruising down somewhat from the level the girls have suffered in recent weeks!

Letchworth scorers

U15s : Tries : Sydney (3)

U18s : Tries : Nikki (3), Jess (2), Charlie, Natalie, Mel, Georgie, Laura, Carla
U18s : Conversions : Nikki (4)


Letchworth U15s 5 v 15 Norfolk Nomads
Letchworth U15s 0 v 32 Old Northamptonians
Letchworth U15s 0 v 32 Worcester
Letchworth U15s 5 v 20 Berks Barbarians
Letchworth U15s 5 v 7 Old Albanians

Letchworth U18s 19 v 14 Lichfield & Burton
Letchworth U18s 39 v 0 Old Northamptonians
Letchworth U18s 5 v 29 Welwyn

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