Promotion-hopefuls Luton edge to narrow victory over near neighbours Letchworth Garden City
London One North: Luton 13 (13) Letchworth Garden City 10 (10)
Luton recorded another London One North victory as they defeated Letchworth Garden City 13-10 at Newlands Road on Saturday.
Both teams struggled to cope with the terrible weather conditions as an error-strewn encounter saw few chances for both sides.
Luton, who were playing into a strong wind during the first half, had gained the better of the early territory and were rewarded in the fifth minute when Rik Hobbs converted a penalty from in front of the posts after Letchworth were penalised for entering in at the side.
Letchworth responded with a penalty of their own in the ninth minute when fly-half Ansell threaded the sticks after Luton were penalised for not releasing in the tackle.
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The host regained the lead in the 14th minute when Luton won a lineout against the throw five metres out and some good work from Tom Wilmore created room for Tom Albone to cross in the corner, although Rik Hobbs was unsuccessful with the difficult conversion.
The game continued to be filled with errors due to the horrible conditions, and the visitors missed a chance to close the gap in the 21st minute when Luton were penalised for entering in at the side, but the penalty attempt drifted wide of the uprights.
And they were made to pay four minutes later when Luton crossed for their second try of the match after a clever kick by Rik Hobbs trapped the visitors on their own line.
Forced to run the ball out they lost possession in the collision and Adam Harris picked up the loose ball to score in the corner, although Rik Hobbs was unsuccessful with the conversion.
Letchworth got themselves back in the game seven minutes later when a strong driving maul, which included most of the players on the pitch, enabled Mellor to force his way under the sticks form 25 metres out with Ansell adding the extras to make it 13-10 to Luton at half time.
The second half featured few chances with Luton in complete control of territory and possession for the whole half.
Letchworth were unable to get out of their own half, but some resilient defence resulted in a scoreless second period.
Luton were unlucky not to add to their tally in the second half as a Rik Hobbs penalty attempt drifted wide and, but for some questionable refereeing decisions, the game could have been over with 10 minutes to go.
Luton are next in action on January 4 when they go to North Walsham.
Luton: Sam Pacey, Ryan Sheppard (David Irvine 71), Jack Elborn, Pat Nelly, Tom Albone, Jake Elston, Adam Harris, Matt Yang (Mike Weston 48), Tom Wilmore (Tom Mahendran 53), Rik Hobbs, Brandon Lewsey, Steve Ellis, Jake Hobbs, Chris Davis, Doug Fluker.
T: Elston, Harris. P: R Hobbs.
Letchworth: Cooke, Hughes, Mellor, Amos, Penny, Lennon, Shaw, Howman, Tirrell, Ansell, Penny, Kevans, Streets, Hrbek, Wilson. T: Mellor. C: Ansell. P: Ansell.
Referee: Nicola Reynolds.
Star Luton Man: Adam Harris. Solid in defence and drove the ball hard all game as well as getting himself on the scoresheet.