Picture galleries: Rugby: Saffron Saxons lose out to Shelford in league cup final at Henham
09:46 01 May 2014
Saffron Walden IIs suffered last-gasp heartache as they narrowly missed out on a historic cup win.
The Saxons went into the Greene King Premiere League Cup final against Great Shelford IVs full of confidence having secured the league with 18 wins from 18, and amassing a 534-point difference.
And they led 19-17 going into the final few seconds, only for Shelford, who fielded a markedly stronger side than that which lost by 40 points to Walden earlier in the season, to notch a late, late penalty to lift the cup.
But there were plenty of positives to take from the game – and the season.
Captain Neil Gaffan said: “We can be very proud of what we have achieved. The level of opposition and the way we did it would not have looked out of place in a league/cup system much higher than we play in.
“I would like to say a massive thank you to all the players who have played twos this season – we have fielded over 50 players.
“Each and every one of them have done their job for the club, and some were lucky enough to have been selected up to play a few games for the first team.”
The game headlined a great day of cup final rugby as Walden played host to the last-ever Greene King Merit league finals at Henham.
It also coincided with Walden’s Big R’s Festival – Rugby, Rock and Real Ale – which brought an end to the club’s Fifty50 year of fundraising.
The club’s aim was to raise £50,000 as it celebrates 50 seasons of rugby, with proceeds going towards improving facilities, and a wide range of money-generating activities were held throughout the campaign.
Simon Read, fifty50 club co-ordinator, said: “The rugby club’s Big R’s Festival – Rugby, Rock and Real Ale – proved a fantastic way to mark the end of what has been a tremendous fundraising effort by everyone involved and the wider community in our 50th anniversary season.
“There are so many individuals and groups who have played their part in helping us towards our fundraising target of £50,000.
“We are also grateful to the many local companies who supported us, not just for the Big R’s Festival, but for Past & Present Ball, the Boys Behind the Balls Calendar, and the Ladies Night as well.
“All in all it’s been an amazing season.”
There’s one more part to play in that ‘amazing season’, as Saffron Walden first team travel to play Twickenham RFC on Saturday in a play-off for promotion to London 1.