Letchworth Rugby Club beat Ipswich 42-8 in Suffolk as Legends post stunning achievement to remain unbeaten for calendar year
By Layth Yousif
14th Nov 2022 | Local Sport
IPSWICH 8 LETCHWORTH 42 by Rick Sell
Sometimes the weight of expectation can lead to frustration and disappointment.
However good individuals and teams will rise above this maybe after some jolts along the way and this was the case on Saturday as Letchworth challenged lowly Ipswich who belied their status and put up a fine performance against the league leaders.
Though unspoken the thoughts of a calendar years unbeaten run (November to November), never achieved by a Letchworth first team in 99 years, were definitely in the air for the visitors and maybe impacted their first half jitters and over eager play
The weather was eerily springlike as the two sides stood side by side for the minutes remembrance for the bigger game of world conflagration and the fallen.
PICTURE: The team lines up for an immaculately observed minute's silence for the Fallen. CREDIT: Letchworth Rugby Club
Although the emphasis is to take every game as it comes and Ipswich obviously were up for this match against the league leaders, Letchworth showed overeagerness and frustration in equal measures in the first half.
The Long opening kick bythe home side was not really dealt with well by the legends defence and Ipswich were given a penalty which was converted to give them an early 3/0 lead.
At last some reasonable phases were strung together and after pressure in the red zone burly number eight and man of the match Tom Lewis barrelled over near the post and ever reliable kicker Ben Palmer added the points .
Minutes later the forwards took control again and after several drives the ball came to Will Titherington who ran a great line to score near the posts and Palmers kick made it 14/3
This should have steadied the nerves about slipping up on such a momentous day but Ipswich had not bought into this part of it
Ably marshalled by Brad Pack whose kicking was superb the home side galvanised themselves and had the best of the remainder of the half . Their pressure brought a penalty that came off the posts but Legends failed to clear their lines and when Howman's kick was charged down Ipswich gleefully took a try in the corner
Spurred on by a large vocal crowd the home sides heads went up with a vengeance while Letchworth couldn't get out of the last third of the pitch , Only determined defence kept Ipswich out for the remainder of the half.
There were grim faces coming out after half time after a little chat from head coach Baz Basra .
Initially this seemed to have little effect as Ipswich gave the league leaders more of the same for the first ten minutes but were unable to cross the whitewash and missed another penalty which at this stage could have been crucial.
Ipswich were frustrating Letchworth with a rush defence sometimes offside but then the referee let it go. However the introduction of Kyle "Rambo" Hughes gave the visitors a bit more oomph and after some pressure Tom Lewis barrelled over and Palmer slotted the conversion
This time Ipswich did not have an answer and were starting to tire.
Now the front row of Robinson and Rambo tested the home defence and the third member of the triumvirate young James Buchanan went over for a debut try . Palmer clinically added the two .
It was now more or less one-way traffic and the last 10 minutes belonged to the league leaders. Skipper Liam Fitts took a great lineout ball near the Ipswich line and after several drives went over for a fine score under the sticks, Palmer again converted and Legends were at 35/8 and out of sight
Tempers momentarily boiled over after 75 minutes but the argy bargy was snuffed out fairly quickly after what had been a good tempered game.
The last try was a real peach as Kieron Davies who had come back on to replace Howman at scrum half peeled back the years to make a great break after a great Letchworth scrum. He nearly made it the full forty metres but as he was hauled down flipped the ball to Fitts and the captain appropriately scored the final try which insured the year unbeaten record.
This time it was young Hugo Lennie who confidently struck the final points of an entertaining and by no means one sided match. Well done to Ipswich who kept Legends on their toes for over half the game
So Legends remain proudly top of this league by several points and of course when you are at the summit you are there to be shot down just as Ipswich tried on Saturday
There will be tough games ahead again Stowmarket at home on the 26 th and Brentwood away (3rd) before the run in at Christmas against Woodford on the 10th and Chingford 17th
However in the meantime there were great celebrations for the one year unbeaten run over 25 matches.
Skipper Liam Fitts was awarded a special cap by President Brian Burke which included 25 stars to mark each game …."I nearly had to peel one off at half-time" quipped the president to much ribaldry and celebrations continued on the coach and in several Baldock pubs over the evening.
There is a rest week next week before the Stowmarket game and tables are going fast so all diners are advised to book by phoning Les Wilsher on 07827 373937. Lunch will be 1215 for 1245 with the kick off at 230 . Followed by England v South Africa on the big screen
Skipper Liam Fitts was awarded a special cap by President Brian Burke which included 25 stars to mark each game. CREDIT: Letchworth Rugby
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