Rugby: Heartache at the end for Walden Colts in the Eastern Counties U18 Plate

16:41 24 February 2014

Flanker Josh Curtis with a pair of safe hands at the lineout.

Flanker Josh Curtis with a pair of safe hands at the lineout.

Archant

This closely-fought game slipped out of the hands of Saffron Walden RFC combined U17/18 team in the last two minutes.

Try scorer Ben Morris offloads to centre partner Andrew Smith.Try scorer Ben Morris offloads to centre partner Andrew Smith.

With a strong wind behind them Walden looked sharp early on. Following solid forward play on the left on seven minutes, centre Ben Morris received the ball in midfield, charged at the retreating Southwold defence and crashed over for the try. Unfortunately, as he was preparing to convert, the ball blew off the kicking tee, and the referee ruled that the conversion attempt was out of time.

For the remainder of the half, both sets of defensive units came to the fore. Solid tackling from forwards Josh Curtis, John Clark and Matt Holden ensured that Southwold attacks were few in number and came to nothing. In attack, however, Walden were unable to string together sufficient phases of play to make an impact on the scoreboard, the wet and windy conditions playing their part in handling errors.

With just a five-point advantage the second half was always going to be tough for Walden. Southwold attacked with intensity and after three minutes scored on the right wing. The conversion hit the post.

For the next 30 minutes Walden tackled solidly in the face of repeated Southwold attacks. Prop Harvey Woodbridge challenged superbly at the front of several defensive lineouts and hooker Mikey Sharp demonstrated his specialist skills in winning the ball against the head in scrum after scrum.

With just two minutes left on the clock, the visitors managed to put together sufficient phases of play to work the ball out to the left and the outside centre was able to touch down. It was heartache for Walden after such a valiant second half effort.

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