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, June 01, 2010

Brief lives: Bubbles and Chloe

We've never encouraged girls from other clubs to join Letchworth - indeed our policy has always been to discourage players from moving to us if at all possible as we've always believed that it was in our best interests - and in the interests of the game as a whole - to have as many teams playing the game as possible. We've always preferred to encourage girls to guest for us, or maybe be "shared" with their original club, but sometimes - in literally a handful of cases - this has not worked and players, who have learnt the game elsewhere, have decided to move to us. And this season sees us saying farewell to two such "imports".

Laura "Bubbles" Barnard learnt her rugby at Ampthill, and played against us on several occasions, as well as joining us as an occasional guest. However, Bubbles was not entirely happy at her club and the risk was that she might stop playing altogether. So eventually, in the 2008/9 season, Bubbles moved to us permanently.

Once the move was made it was really great to see how Laura's confidence and performances improved, week on week, over the season, becoming a key member of the side that picked up several awards, most notably the plate at the National 7s.

This season she deservedly gained her county cap, putting in several excellent performances, especially in Petersfield where she was unlucky not to get her name on the scoreboard, having a try disallowed for what some spectators saw as "a bit of a technicality". Unfortunately injury meant that she did not quite see out her final season, but hopefully the game, and the club, has not seen the last of Bubbles and we will see her again at Legends Lane.

Chloe Baker has had an even shorter Legends career. Already a regional player, ex-Sudbury and Suffolk Sabres, Chloe decided to join us or this season, her final season in junior rugby.

Without doubt the most gifted "import" we have had*, Chloe's strength, speed and (normally!) excellent handling saw her immediately selected for Hertfordshire and the East Region. Perhaps her own worst critic, even when playing "badly" Chloe could still get on the scoresheet - as at the National 7s last weekend.

Chloe's commitment to Letchworth Saracens this season has been a great bonus in what was always going to be a difficult season - though injury meant that she missed several games near the end, returning just in time for the Nationals.

Personally I am really sorry that I did not see more of Chloe, as - short though her Letchworth career has been - Chloe is clearly one of the best, most naturally gifted, most brilliant players to have ever pulled on the black-and-amber.

Hopefully we'll all get a chance to see her playing adult rugby somewhere, sometime in the future - the game would be so much the poorer without stars like Chloe.

*Before you say anything, Sasha, you were shared with Sudbury so you weren't an "import"!

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