Letchworth Rugby Club emerge victorious at Tring after hard-fought Herts derby

By Layth Yousif

29th Jan 2024 | Local Sport

Letchworth Rugby Club hold on to beat Tring 23-21. CREDIT: Letchworth Rugby Club
Letchworth Rugby Club hold on to beat Tring 23-21. CREDIT: Letchworth Rugby Club

TRING 21. LETCHWORTH GC 23

Sharps late conversion aces Trings kicking fest.

A bit of a curate egg game this at the sticky mud of Cow Lane Tring.

The home side were desperate for points hence they kicked every penalty in range and some out of range and their reliable scrumhalf.

Ben Hogan scored seven with one hitting the crossbar and a late penalty missing which condemned them to their narrow two point loss to this legends side, who scored three tries, despite the stop start whistling of the female referee. 

As head coach, Baz Basra pointed out after the game the lack of training opportunities in the week certainly showed in the somewhat flawed performance of the visitors. He singled out Titherington and Peasnell as his players of the game despite Parkhouse's glorious run and Sharps vital conversion from the touchline

However, they had done enough to sneak this one, and the Tring faithful will be wringing their hands as a lost opportunity of a home win.

Especially with the frenzied assaults of the last few minutes coming to nothing - and Letchworth managing to hold on in the set piece and not give away a scrum penalty in front of the posts - which would no doubt have made it a one point win for the home side. 

Despite this, there was enough in the game to keep both sets of spectators fairly happy with what was was going on on the pitch, and of course, as was to be expected with a Hertfordshire Derby, both sides went at it hammer and tongs from the start.

An early penalty from Hogan hit the bar and was well cleared by Letchworth, but he atoned for this several minutes later, so Tring 

took the lead three nil before Sharp equalised with another well struck effort to make it three a piece . 

Legends spent a fair bit of time in the red zone, but failed to score and Hogan, then added two more penalties to stretch lead to 9 /3 after 30 minutes.

However, towards the end of the first half, there was certainly domination from legends through telling carries by both Llewellyn, Jones and Tom Lewis.'.

Just before halftime Letchworth won good ball from the set piece and great interchange between Josh Staddon , Harvey Howman and Rick Streets saw the latter crash over for a try just before the break which remained unconverted so half time it was Tring 9 Letchworth 8 … all to play for 

With slope and breeze in the second half Letchworth could have been expected to really take hold of this game and for the 10 minutes after halftime that is exactly what they did.

From forward pressure, and some great drives by both Llewellyn Jones Lewis, and Peasnell the ball, then was switched, blind and Young winger Sam Valdy still had plenty to do as he danced round his opposite number to dot down just inside touch at the corner. Understandably the kick was missed 

On the next attack, Tring were awarded the penalty which was kicked by Hogan to make it 12/13 . Within a few minutes, Letchworth has gone ahead by a penalty from Sharp making it 16/13 

However, a somewhat harsh harsh decision for a high tackle by Mongston meant he had to spend 10 minutes in the sin bin and Tring made it a one point game with another penalty 15/16 

Yet another infringement brought the deadly boot of Ben Hogan into play and now Tring took the lead in the match much to the delight of the Home crowd 18/16 . When minutes later, he made it 21 /16 with another super strike the Tring crowd were , almost dancing on the touchline ! 

There was only 12 minutes left …..Did Letchworth have enough in the tank to pull something out of the bag. ? 

From a scrum in their own 22, Titherington broke and evaded a few tackles before being brought down. The ball was switched blind and Charlie Parkhouse had some room to move and beat four men on the way to the try line , and with his exceptional pace over this somewhat sticky pitch. He went over in the corner, but could maybe rounded by the post but instead his fly half Sharp was left with an awkward kick virtually on on the touch line. 

Never mind, the back player coach did slot the ball straight through the upright to put Letchworth into 21 23 lead 

So now it was for the Home side to try and overhaul the legends. Meanwhile Dan Peasnell also saw yellow again reducing Letchworth's number to 14 with Mongston having just been restored . 

In the last five minutes from a great scrum they were awarded a penalty, but this one was on the 10 m line and quite far out and though Hogan struck the ball. Well it fell short. 

Parkhouse cleared it, but there were still time for Tring to mount another attack, and they pounded the Letchworth line. The ball went back in the last minute for an attempted drop goal by Hogan but the ball though at a good height drifted to the right of the posts . Last chance gone ! 

So it was delight for the 

visitors and despair for Tring who really need to pick themselves up and go again next week which hopefully they will . For Letchworth It will be a local Derby at home against Hertford with the League lunch already sold out and over 100 diners coming, and no doubt, it'll be a large, raucous crowd , really roaring on Letchworth, so hopefully another win could be on the cards and maintaining their position in the top four of this league …. But don't tell Hertford or they may just spoil the party ! 

 Team from 1 

 Hughes K

Hughes T 

Robinson

Jones

Peasnall

Mongston 

Heathman

Lewis 

Howman

Sharp

Henderson

Titherington

Streets

Stadden

Parkhouse 

Fitts

Gibbs A 

Valdy 

     

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