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Eton Manor let 13-point lead slip to lose to Letchworth Garden City in London One North
3:30pm Wednesday 25th September 2013 in Sport
Eton Manor squandered a 20-7 second-half lead at the New Wilderness on Saturday to lose 27-20 to London One North title rivals Letchworth Garden City.
Centre Ben Thomas joined the growing list of Manor players out with injury, leading to a forced reshuffle of the centres.
Peter Bicknell went over for the first try of the game after a fluid counter-attack following Alfie Hutcherson’s turnover from a Letchworth line-out. The conversion was missed to leave the score at 5-0.
Garth Tucker then added a powerful second try, exploding off a goal-line scrum and charging through three defenders to break the line. The conversion again went wide though.
A penalty just before half-time allowed Letchworth to relieve the Manor pressure and from the resulting lineout on halfway, the visitors put together their best move of the half, moving the ball through a number of phases to score a well-worked try, bringing the score to 10-7.
Mark Wollard squeezed a kick over the bar to add three more points a few minutes into the second half.
Manor extended their lead when a Letchworth defender fumbled whilst grounding the ball after Callum McKie kicked a through ball into the dead ball area.
Alex Hunter was the man to dive on the ball and record the try. A Wollard conversion made the score 20-7 with nearly 15 minutes of the second half played.
Manor were their own worst enemies, however, and Letchworth found a way back into the game with a catch-and-drive against an under-manned Manor pack after Carl Miller was sin-binned for collapsing the maul.
The try rejuvenated the visitors and they took advantage of Manor’s complacency, once again using their man advantage to score an unconverted try down the wing.
Letchworth took the lead for the first time when full-back Huw Levis’ clearance kick was charged down with no defender backing up.
With a missed conversion, the score with ten minutes to go was 22-20 in Letchworth’s favour.
Letchworth continued to dominate and a cross-field kick caught Manor by surprise, giving their winger the opportunity to cross the line unopposed.
Manor were unable to get themselves back in the game in the remaining minutes and fell to a 27-20 defeat.
Eton Manor play Tabard on Saturday.