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 10, 2011

Herts 7s 2011

This year the Herts 7s returned to where the tournament was first held in July 2004 at Camelot RFC in Hemel Hempstead. With the ground rock hard from weeks of dry weather, it was a very good thing that at least a little rain fell in Hertfordshire the day before the tournament but I suspect that I was not alone in being pleased to have the weather dry and warm on Sunday.

Letchworth were drawn in Group 4 with Oakmedians A, Hertford, Guildford & Camberley and, as usual at major tournaments, Worcester. Anyway, the girls seemed quite happy with their lot (and Wonky told them who to blame if anything went wrong) ...

The first match was against Hertford and, after Letchworth had made their traditional slow start and then woken up, it proved to be a pretty even contest. However, by that time, Hertford had a decent lead which they did not relinquish even though Letchworth fought back to within 3 points by the final whistle - and secured a bonus point which would prove to be very important later in the day.

For the second game against Guildford & Camberley, Letchworth had a change of strip ... well, turned their shirts inside out which amounts to the same thing ... to avoid a complete muddle with both teams in virtually identical colours and shirt patterns. The change of colour didn't quite do the trick for Letchworth as they, once again, ended up second best in a closely fought game. However, with the score at 17 : 12, Letchworth again secured a vital bonus point.

With only 2 bonus points to show for their efforts in the first two matches - and with the tough game against Worcester still to come - the third game against Oakmedians A was a 'must win' fixture if Letchworth were to avoid bottom place in the group. As we have seen many times in the past, the Letchworth girls take while to get going but then go from strength to strength through a tournament and so it turned out again. The match against Oakmedians was another close encounter but, with Letchworth starting to play with more cohesiveness, they came out on top and, courtesy of the conversions to two of their three tries, a 9 point victory margin to deny Oakmedians their bonus point.

The final group game against Worcester A was never going to be easy but the Letchworth girls gave it a very good shot and contested keenly throughout. The final scoreline of Letchworth 5 v. 41 Worcester A showed what we already knew - that Worcester are a very good side and that Letchworth have some way to go to match them but it also tells us that Letchworth don't give up and that they can and do score against the top teams.
Before I move on, I must mention the Letchworth try against Worcester. I've seen many matches between these clubs and Letchworth tries are never plentiful and they are never easy to get so they are something special. And as it was a solo effort from a long way out against a couple of defenders, this must be one of the best of them ....

At the completion of the group stage, 3 teams in Group 4 had won only one of their games and the bonus points were the deciding factor. As Letchworth had 2 bonus points, they were placed 3rd in the group and went through to a Bowl semi-final against last seasons 'cluster' partner, Saracens.

The Letchworth girls had really warmed to the task by stage of proceedings and were playing their best rugby of the day. They took control of the game from the outset, scoring early on and maintaining pressure thoughout to earn a place in the Bowl final.

The Bowl final was between Letchworth and Hertfordshire U15s league winners, Royston. This was an entertaining game with both sides pressing throughout. Letchworth took an early lead and were looking comfortable by the interval but Royston came back strongly in the second half. Letchworth responded and were able to hold off the challenge, eventually running in another try of their own to make the game - and the Bowl - safe.

So then there just remained the business of collecting the U15s Bowl and medals from Hemel Hempstead MP, Mike Penning, and Terry Hathaway, Chairman of Camelot RFC -

Letchworth Results :

Group 4 games :

Letchworth 17 v. 20 Hertford
Letchworth 12 v. 17 Guildford & Camberley
Letchworth 19 v. 10 Oakmedians B
Letchworth 5 v. 41 Worcester A

Bowl semi-final :

Letchworth 32 v. 5 Saracens

Bowl Final :

Letchworth 19 v. 5 Royston

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