Rugby: Letchworth 12, Norwich 27

Norwich bounced back from a run of defeats to record a well deserved London League Division Two North victory at Letchwood.

Norwich bounced back from a run of defeats to record a well deserved London League Division Two North victory at Letchwood.

Using the wind, Letchworth immediately put Norwich under pressure and fly-half Donald converted a penalty after 10 minutes.

Then Leake won a line-out and was driven 10 metres forward before the ball was released to the backs. The ensuing move was executed perfectly, all the backs handling before Smillie passed to left winger Statham who scorched past his opposite number and beat the cover defence to score under the posts. Aidy Ball missed the simplest of conversions but, after 15 minutes, Norwich were 5-3 ahead.

The general pattern of play did not alter however and Donald converted another penalty to restore the home side's lead.

In the second quarter Norwich did begin to make some inroads into Letchworth territory. After 32 minutes they were awarded a free-kick in front of the posts and 20 metres out from the Letchworth line. A tap was made, the ball was moved to the left where Jonny Statham skinned his opposite number to cross in the corner and score under the posts. Ball missed another simple conversion but Norwich now led 6-10.

The home team were not to be denied and Donald then kicked a penalty before Turner was caught offside for the third time and carded too. The half finally finished after 54 minutes with the score 12-10 to Letchworth.

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Norwich started the second half with only 14 men but after seven minutes a Letchworth forward was carded for killing the ball. Turner was back on the field by the time Norwich gained an attacking line-out but lost the ball, and then gave away a penalty that enabled Letchworth to relieve the pressure. After 16 minutes Dolding was sent to the bin but Norwich kept up the pressure until his return and were awarded a penalty wide out. Ball stepped up and kicked Norwich into the lead.

From the re-start Norwich gained possession and Ali Harris put up a huge high kick to the corner where Statham gathered and ran round under the posts to score his hat-trick. Ball converted to increase the Norwich's lead to 12-20 with only 10 minutes to go.

There really was only one team in the contest by this time. Led by captain Jon Bugg, whose tackling was awesome, Norwich had ground Letchworth down to the point where they were no threat.

To finish the game off, the Norwich forwards drove into their opponents with close passing and support until the backs opened up for David Smillie to cross in the corner and run round to score under the posts. Ball added the conversion that extended the Norwich lead to 12-27, a scoreline they held until the end.