Manor’s winning streak ends
PUBLISHED: 14:45 09 December 2014 | UPDATED: 14:45 09 December 2014
London One North: Letchworth 17 Eton Manor 11
Eton Manor’s unbeaten London One North record came to an end at Legends Lane as Letchworth edged them out by six-points.
Harry Tustanowsky crossed over for Jamie Connors team in a tight first half, but the league leaders were never at the top of their game.
They conceded twice in the second period, and although they were denied a try late on the hosts deservedly ended Manor’s unbeaten start to the league season.
The visitors soon created their first scoring opportunity when they won a lineout outside Letchworth’s 22 and the backs executed a miss move which saw Peter Bicknell crash his way towards the try line.
He was eventually stopped 5 meters short, but his off load was deliberately knocked on by Letchworth’s No6 giving Manor a penalty and the Letchworth player 10 minutes in the sin bin for his troubles.
Letchworth came back into the game and scored the opening points of the afternoon with 30 minutes played.
A long clearance kick from Manor failed to reach touch and the ball found it’s way into the fullbacks hands and after a number of moves, the hosts went over for the first try of the match.
The conversion was missed and Connors team upped their game immediately from the restart and soon drew level.
Michael Eghan found some room and made 20 meters before being brought to ground, the ball was recycled quickly allowing Bicknell to take the attack to Letchworth.
He then drew his man and fed the supporting Chris Jones who went on the outside of his man then fed young Tustanowsky, who defied his size by crashing through tackles and diving over the line for a try.
The conversion was missed but with the half coming to a close Manor had levelled the scores at 5-5.
Manor kicked off the second half and soon gained the initiative when the hosts knocked the ball on and were then penalised for being offside. From 32 meters out Callum McKie slotted the penalty over taking Manor into an 8-5 lead.
Letchworth responded almost immediately from the re-start, when Manor knocked the ball on. The referee played advantage, allowing the Letchworth fullback to gather the ball, run at Manors defence before scoring a fine individual try.
The conversion was kicked and the hosts had a four-point lead and Manor were now facing a home side that could sense victory.
Letchworth harried the visitors into making uncharacteristic mistakes and eventually the pressure told.
The away side conceded a third try to find themselves nine-points down with 15 minutes of the second period contested.
Manor managed to win a penalty with 10 minutes to go, which McKie converted to make the gap six-points.
The league leaders upped their game following that kick and came agonisingly close to going over for another try.
Manor’s forwards picked and drived until the ball eventually found its way to prop Josh Permale, who from 5 meters out drove towards the line.
Permale was convinced that he grounded the ball, but the referee deemed that the ball had been held up and awarded a 5 meter scrum.
Letchworth were able to survive and the full time whistle followed to consign Manor to a first defeat of the season and see them lose their position at the top of the table.
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