SWF RFC V Letchworth Garden City RFC
for a must win home game
South Woodham Ferrers managed to snatch a defeat from the jaws of victory this weekend going down 10 to 14 to Letchworth in a must win game for the bottom of the table team. With home advantage and with some key players returning to the fold the home crowd were expecting a strong performance against fellow London 1 North strugglers.
The first half started brightly with both teams trying to find a breach in each other’s defence. Things looked fairly even for the first fifteen minutes until Woodham gave away the first of a series of silly penalties in easily kickable positions. Letchworth converted to go three up.
Going behind seemed to spark the home side into action and after a period of great possession they scored the first try of the day when Tani Loka crossed the line to finish a strong forwards attack. The try was converted by Jamie Cox.
There followed a period of dominance for Woodham with the lads going close several times but a strong defence and some handling errors kept them out. Perhaps the best move of the day came when skipper Warren Duggan broke free on the wing, running to within 10 metres of the try line before being caught. A couple of years ago it might have been a certain try but the old legs just couldn’t keep him ahead of the defence!
There were some great carries from James Wilson and the returning Dom Hoey and it seemed like only a matter of time before the second try would come. Sadly this was not to be the case. A dubious penalty gave Letchworth a chance to claw back to within a point before the half ended with a penalty for the home team as they threatened the line again. Jamie Cox stretched the lead to 10-6.
The second half was incredibly frustrating for the home crowd; periods of possession for the Woodham team could not be converted despite the forwards being on top of their opposition. There seemed to be plenty of space out wide but the ball just never got through the hands quick enough.
Frustratingly it was Letchworth who scored all the points in a half where they were hanging on for dear life for much of the time. Firstly they converted a penalty to bring them to within a point and then mugged the home side with a try much against the run of play. With twenty minutes left to play the gauntlet had been thrown down, could the Woodham team find the spirit to hit back and get the victory they so desperately wanted.
For most of the remainder the half Woodham were firmly in control, with attack after attack running close. The Letchworth defence held them out but at the expense of a series of penalties that could quite easily have been kicked. The home side, perhaps low on confidence, chose to kick for touch and go for the try. Unfortunately they could not manufacture the move to break through and time finally ran out with the home side still pressing forward.
This seasons performances have been marked by a lack of real finishing power and it a great shame that the lads can’t convert possession into points. Some quicker more savvy thinking could easily have seen them get the victory they probably deserved.