Win number one this season for Welwyn comes against garden city rivals Letchworth

PUBLISHED: 12:14 11 November 2019 | UPDATED: 12:14 11 November 2019

Welwyn V Letchworth - Phil Grehan in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn Haddon

Welwyn V Letchworth - Phil Grehan in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Archant

Welwyn climbed off the bottom of the table with a much-needed yet well-deserved 31-23 victory over Letchworth at Hobbs Way.

Welwyn V Letchworth - Joe Burns in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWelwyn V Letchworth - Joe Burns in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

The win was their first of the London Two North West season and means they are now five points clear of Luton and just one point behind their visitors.

Welwyn V Letchworth - Joe Burns in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWelwyn V Letchworth - Joe Burns in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Their next opponents, Hemel Hempstead, are a further point ahead of them.

Welwyn V Letchworth - James Tann in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWelwyn V Letchworth - James Tann in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Wet conditions made life difficult but Welwyn were still able to play some attractive rugby to entertain the large crowd in attendance at the first of this season's garden city derbies.

Welwyn V Letchworth - James Tann in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWelwyn V Letchworth - James Tann in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

They were able to welcome back Phil Grehan, Chris Kemp and Dave Francis while veteran Joe Burns started in the second row, moving Anton Denton to number eight.

Welwyn V Letchworth - Liam Walpole in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWelwyn V Letchworth - Liam Walpole in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Yet it was Letchworth who started the better of the two sides and were first on the scoreboard with a converted try after five minutes.

Welwyn V Letchworth - James Tann in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWelwyn V Letchworth - James Tann in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

However, Welwyn's strong scrummaging performance allowed them to get a foothold in the game and they leveled the scores after 15 minutes. A grubber kick ahead and a huge miss-pass found skipper Adam Harcourt in space and he finished well with Kemp converting.

Welwyn V Letchworth - Liam Walpole in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWelwyn V Letchworth - Liam Walpole in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

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The lead was increased after another 15 minutes, more pressure from the home team saw the ball moved to the left where Kemp dived into the corner to score.

Welwyn V Letchworth - James Burge looks on as Liam Walpole charges clear for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWelwyn V Letchworth - James Burge looks on as Liam Walpole charges clear for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Letchworth responded with a penalty on the stroke of half-time and the teams changed round with Welwyn holding a slender 12-10 advantage.

Welwyn V Letchworth - James Tann in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWelwyn V Letchworth - James Tann in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Welwyn started the second half well and after three minutes Burns made a strong break before feeding Liam Walpole who charged over from 10 metres out.

Welwyn V Letchworth - James Tann in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWelwyn V Letchworth - James Tann in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Kemp converted to give Welwyn a nine-point lead and although another Letchworth penalty narrowed the gap, the lead was extended into double digits when a catch and drive from a line-out resulted in Denton driving over from close quarters.

Welwyn V Letchworth - Ryan Travers in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWelwyn V Letchworth - Ryan Travers in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

That gave Welwyn the bonus point but it was cancelled out by a try in similar circumstances to bring the gap back to six for the final 15 minutes.

Welwyn V Letchworth - Joe Burns in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWelwyn V Letchworth - Joe Burns in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

But after Dan Webb and Will Freeston joined the action from the bench Welwyn secured victory when Grehan chased down his own kick ahead to score under the posts.

Welwyn V Letchworth - Dave Francis in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWelwyn V Letchworth - Dave Francis in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Letchworth did bag another unconverted try but they couldn't add the conversion that would have brought a losing bonus point.

Welwyn V Letchworth - Dave Francis in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWelwyn V Letchworth - Dave Francis in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

It was of little consequence to Welwyn though who were worthy winners.

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