Manor lose their grip as Letchworth take points
PUBLISHED: 12:00 28 September 2013
Healthy lead let slip
Eton Manor slipped to a 27-20 home defeat against Letchworth on Saturday despite holding a healthy lead 15 minutes into the second half.
After early pressure, Manor broke the deadlock on 18 minutes when a Letchworth line-out in the home side’s 22 was turned over and a long upfield rush ended with Peter Bicknell crashing over in the corner for his first club try and a 5-0 lead.
Manor then extended their advantage when Letchworth’s number eight was sin-binned for continual infringements and Garth Tucker exploded out of the resulting scrum for their second, unconverted try.
The visitors hit back close to half-time with a well-worked rush from a line-out on halfway that saw their winger go over for a converted try before Manor missed a penalty from 10 metres out on the stroke of half-time.
A Mark Woollard penalty conversion from 35 metres on the other side of half-time saw Manor start to claw their lead back and they added another try 15 minutes in, when Callum McKie kicked the ball on and Letchworth failed to collect, allowing Alex Hunter to pounce and Woollard to convert.
Letchworth began their fightback when Manor’s Carl Miller was binned for collapsing the maul and, using their man and size advantage in a catch and drive from the resulting line-out, they bundled over the line for an unconverted try.
Still a man short, Manor were on the back foot and a mistake in the middle of the park allowed a Letchworth overlap to slip their winger in untouched from 20 metres out and put the game in the balance at 20-17.
Letchworth then took the lead for the first time with 10 minutes left to play when they charged down a clearance and were first to the ball to score a bonus-point try.
The visitors set the seal on the win, when a cross-field kick from a penalty inside the Manor 22 caught the hosts off guard and they were outnumbered three to one on the far side and the resulting try made it 27-20.
Manor had one last push to try and tie the game when Tucker ran 25 metres only to be tackled into touch just shy of the line with the last play of the game.
Manor will travel to newly promoted Tabard on Saturday.
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