Old Habs 1st XV vs Letchworth 1st XV
OH bag a bonus point win
Saturday 3rd February, Old Haberdashers travelled to Letchworth Garden City, motivated to get a win on the board after two very narrow losses against Colchester and Brentwood the two weeks prior. Excited by the prospect of a post game power shower and a freshly laundered kit, it is safe to say the changing room atmosphere was buzzing.
The weather was bleak making it difficult to play an expansive game nevertheless Old Habs came out the blocks firing and looked sharp in attack from the get go. Some hard carrying from the front five allowed habs to get on the front foot early, and it wasn’t long before number 8 James Clarke broke through the line in midfield to cross the white wash for Old Haberdashers’ first try.
Not to be outshone by his backrow counterpart, George Seabrook opened his own scoring tally shortly after. Charging through the defence off a line out inside Letchworth’s half, taking it all the way for the score. George managed to grab a second before half time, only to sub himself off in order to bottle any possibility of the hat trick.
Letchworth had their opportunities in the first half, the best of which came from a sustained period of attack around the fringes, trundling up the pitch with some great physicality. Eventually their back row carried over the try line to secure their first and only try of the game.
Habs managed to bounce back quickly, just before the half time break, in the form of Harry Briffitt hitting a hole created by an exquisite backs play. Harry then galloped down the hill picking up some serious momentum before crossing over in the bottom corner to take Old Haberdashers up 4 tries to 1 at the half.
The second half was a much closer affair. Old Haberdashers managed to start well, most notably the forwards continuing to dominate the set piece. Special mention goes to Rory Tolson for his acrobatics in the air at lineouts, stealing a large amount of opposition ball. It wasn’t long before Habs’ good-looking centre pairing were let loose off a centre field scrum, opening up space on the outside, allowing Ian McGhee to score.
However for the majority of the second half Habs’ discipline allowed Letchworth to have most of the possession. A high penalty count kept the Haberdashers defending in their own half and eventually were forced to go down to 14 men as Al Baxter was yellow carded for not rolling away.
Despite this, Habs defended as well with 14 as they had with 15 and managed to prevent the home side from scoring any points in the second half.
The game ended on a sour note when Letchworth’s substitute centre/hooker was red carded for flying into a ruck off his feet with a shoulder charge at a breakdown.
Old Haberdashers win 31-5, gaining a bonus point win and continue their climb up the table.