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...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Letchworth's lioness

Lioness? Well, if there is one distinctive and memorable feature of Natalie Threlfalls' rugby its probably this (in this case Natalie is in a Ampthill shirt)...
video

Its not exactly textbook, but its very effective - even against the biggest of opponents. The above tackle was hardly unique. Natalie took second place in a "Tackle of the Year" in 2006-7 for this vital try saver in the final of the National Sevens (right)!

What is shows is one of the great features of Natalie's play - she never gives up. Her name frequently appears on the scoresheet, but she has probably save as many tries as she has scored, chasing down "lost causes" and making remarkable one-on-one tackles, often securing the ball as well. And its not a technique that she was caught - this was all Nat's own invention.

Nat was part of a talented intake of new players in our second season - but uniquely she had already started her medal collection as part of our second tag team at Herts Youth Games in 2005 - the last year that the Games included a Girls U14 competition.

Lead by Nikki, the team included several experienced players - which was useful when East Herts attempted to field someone who had played for East Region, which was against the Games' rules. It was an early introduction for Natalie to the some of the less savoury aspects of the game!

With that kick-start to her rugby career, Natalie became the star of the 2005/6 U14 team - a feared player who ran in stacks of tries, right from her first game (against Milton Keynes, left). Nat went on to play for the county and region, was chosen as the U14s Player of the Year, and even selected to join the county's summer Athlete Development Programme. Unfortunately Natalie's experience of representative rugby wasn't something she enjoyed, and it was only in past couple of years that she put herself forward again.

The county and region's loss was our gain. As Natalie moved up to the next age band she became a vital part of the successful U17 team - from scoring crucial tries in the 2006 Rochford 10s win to making vital tackles in the final of the 2007 National 7s plate, Natalie was always been at the heart of the action.

And so she has remained - as this slide show demonstrates! Natalie has been the ideal all round player, a match winner at both ends of the pitch, feared and respected by opponents, loved by team-mates - the fearless lioness of Letchworth Legends.

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