London 1 North: Old Haberdashers v Luton
By Ian Nancollas
Luton lost 10-50 to Old Haberdashers in the latest round of the 2018/19 London One North League season.
Luton had a bit of a nightmare start to the game, the visitors scored their first try after only 33 seconds and another one three minutes later (0-14). This seemed like a wake-up call for the Red and Green, they put great pressure on the Haberdashers. Harry Alston’s outstanding play was mixed with some promising performance by the youngsters Tom Bains and Olly Haynes, but unfortunately, this was not enough for the home side to get on the scoreboard during the first 40 minutes (0-35).
In the second half, Haberdashers had a few quick tries, despite Luton’s heroic effort to stop them. Captain Ryan Staff really switched gears, his tackles “could be heard within 10 miles”. The cherry on top was when he managed to dive over the line and put Luton on the scoresheet. He was followed by Wayne Hemson with a late try, making the final score 10-50.
Player-coach David Hamm highlighted Luton’s biggest problem for this game.
He said: “[The key difference was the] concentration within the first 15-20 minutes. In the first half, our tackles were poor, and the rest of the time we were just behind the game line, giving them so much time and space.
“Things are improving, we’re scoring more and we’re more of a threat but I and the coaching staff are looking for the long-term plan, how we can improve and compete at this level again, where we deserve to be, where we want to be, we need to be.
“Denzel Edwards had an outstanding game, Ryan Staff was one of the very few players that didn’t miss a tackle. The man of the match, for me, would be Harry Alston played in a variety of positions today, exceptionally in all.”
First team manager Steve Evans was satisfied with the outcome of the game.
He said: “We are on the back of not even fulfilling a fixture, so for me, the proudest moment was to get the squad out there. We had a terrific welcome back for Callum Cunningham, who disappeared for a couple of years for university but helped us out today which was fantastic to see.
“I’m pleased that we got on the scoresheet, that was our goal.
“For me, the standout player was Ryan Staff, I think that anyone who was watching the game within 10 miles would’ve heard some of the hits he was putting in. Harry Alston always gives his all vocally in the backs, which was also a fantastic thing but Staff was just something else today.”
Luton travel to Amersham on Saturday.