Welwyn crash out of the cup at the first hurdle
PUBLISHED: 15:34 16 January 2008 | UPDATED: 22:10 26 October 2009
WELWYN fell at the first hurdle in the Herts RFU Presidents Cup to league rivals Letchworth on Saturday. The previous encounter between these sides was in the league when Letchworth snatched a victory in the last few minutes of an enthralling game. Welw
WELWYN fell at the first hurdle in the Herts RFU Presidents' Cup to league rivals Letchworth on Saturday.
The previous encounter between these sides was in the league when Letchworth snatched a victory in the last few minutes of an enthralling game.
Welwyn hoped that this cup match would provide them an opportunity to improve on that result, but it was not to be the case.
Missing key players meant the Hobbs Way team fielded a rather depleted side following the festive break.
It didn't take too long before the effects of missing players became very apparent as Letchworth proved to be bigger, stronger and in places faster than their visitors.
The home side attacked from the kick-off on the sloping pitch, boggy in places following torrential overnight rain.
Whilst Welwyn coped with the initial pressure and tried continuously to clear their 22 metre area, they failed to find touch and allowed their opponents to build up pressure.
An offence by Welwyn resulted in a penalty which handed three points to the home side.
From the restart the visitors again found themselves on the back foot and only some strong running from centre Peter Elliott and cover tackles by James Coughlan prevented Letchworth scoring.
However, they continued to mount consecutive attacks and eventually capitalised on some good fortune.
An attempt to kick over the top was charged down straight into an attacker's hands.
The breakaway provided Letchworth with a try on the right side of the field.
It was converted for a 10-0 lead with only 20 minutes played.
Welwyn wing Coughlan was then replaced after a hamstring injury.
Try as Welwyn did to compete against a well drilled and efficient side, they were unable to gain any foothold in the game.
Welwyn were limited to a few occasional visits into the home side's half.
When the Letchworth winger broke through on the left and supplied an inside ball to his following centre another try was inevitable.
The hosts converted another penalty before half-time to go in front 20-0.
When the second half started, after early substitutions by Welwyn, it seemed as though the change in personnel might provide the visitors a platform on which to build.
Before long Letchworth had the measure of the new players and not even the fresh legs could stop the onslaught.
Welwyn had to defend stoutly in their own half and spent long periods in their 22.
Good determined tackling kept the home side out for a while but as the match wore on Letchworth's superiority started to tell and further tries were scored.
Firstly in the right corner and shortly after that the north Herts side broke through with their forwards to dab down almost under the posts.
Excellent kicking added to the points tally and a penalty in the closing minutes took the final score to 37-0.
Late efforts by Welwyn to score a consolation try failed to intimidate the Letchworth side and a miserable result for the visitors greeted the final whistle.
Welwyn now need to concentrate on their league survival with some crucial games coming up in the next few weeks.
They certainly need to perform better if they are to have any chance of avoiding relegation.
On Saturday Welwyn are at home to London Nigerian in the league.