Manor squeak past Letchworth
PUBLISHED: 16:30 30 March 2015
London One North: Eton Manor 33 Letchworth Garden City 24
Eton Manor gained revenge over Letchworth Garden City, the only side to beat them this year, with a 33-24 win at the New Wilderness.
The visiting forwards dominated the opening exchanges but against the run of play Manor took the lead through Tyson Goodchild.
The hosts stole a Letchworth lineout inside the visitors’ 22 and after a series of powerful drives from both forwards and backs, Goodchild barged over to make it 5-0 after 23 minutes.
The Wanstead-based club looked set to increase their lead shortly after when Chris Jones broke into the 22 but his pass was intercepted by his opposite number who ran the length of the field for a try under the posts.
The conversion was successful as Letchworth moved into a two-point lead before Callum McKie put Manor back in front with a penalty.
Their advantage was short lived though as City crossed for another try to go in at half-time 14-8 up, leaving the hosts’ 18-month unbeaten home record in jeopardy.
McKie drew Manor level just 10 minutes into the second half with two penalties as the home side’s forwards beginning to take control of proceedings.
Letchworth then became a man light when their blindside flanker was sent to the sin-bin for repeatedly infringing at the ruck.
The New Wilderness side soon made their advantage tell when they were awarded a penalty try from a scrum with McKie converting to make it 21-14 with 22 minutes remaining.
Letchworth kicked a penalty to reduce the gap seven minutes later but Manor went nine points ahead soon after through a Jack Tovey try.
Nick Horton darted down the blindside before finding Garth Tucker who bolted toward the Letchworth 22 and as he was tackled into touch he passed to Tovey who duly scored.
Letchworth set up a nervy finish to move to within just two points with a converted try five minutes from time before David Hanna crossed to seal the Manor win.
The hosts had a lineout five metres from the visitors’ line stoppage time and despite good defence the forwards drove over with Hanna touching down.
It was their fourth try of the afternoon, sealing the bonus point that could prove vital in their title battle with Colchester.
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