Barking success ends Saffron Walden's super start to season
PUBLISHED: 16:18 21 September 2016
After two good league victories Saffron Walden came back down to earth with a narrow loss at home to Barking at Henham.
Steve Mugridge and Brad Baker notched the hosts’ tries either side of the break but they were to be denied the triumph by a late Barking try.
The visitors had the better of the opening 25 minutes as they used the conditions well and pinned Walden down in their own half.
Walden struggled to get any ball and Barking, despite kicking two penalties to go six points up, will have been disappointed not to score at least one try. A combination of poor decision-making and some great defence by Walden kept them from crossing the try-line.
Finally Walden got the ball and a great break by left winger Ben Stapleton nearly got them over the try-line. However, he was bundled into touch a few metres short.
The clearance did not go long and Walden set up a couple of phases before prop Mugridge came in at pace and twisted over the try-line to score.
Full-back Tom Price stepped up to take the conversion and Walden were 7-6 in front after 33 minutes.
A good opening five minutes of the second half saw Walden threaten but they could not make the crucial breakthrough and it was the visitors on the scoreboard first as a home player was deemed offside and they went back in front.
From the kick-off Walden regained the ball and passed it down into midfield.
As the slippery ball went loose a Barking player tried to knock it back but second row Baker was first to react and kicked it on before scooping it up a metre off the try-line to dive over under the posts for 14-9.
Walden had a couple of chances to increase the lead but did not take them and with only 10 minutes to go Barking managed to conjure a score.
Their centre broke the home side’s defence to score under the posts.
Walden had two penalty chances to snatch the win but unfortunately both were missed and Barking managed to hold on.
The hosts take a bonus point for staying within seven points.
They travel to in-form Tring on Saturday looking to bounce back from defeat.