Saffron Walden recover from wobbly start to earn win at Epping Upper Clapton rivals

PUBLISHED: 09:00 14 November 2019

Saffron Walden Rugby Club in action (pic Jamie Pluck)

Saffron Walden Rugby Club in action (pic Jamie Pluck)

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Saffron Walden overcame a slow start to beat Epping Upper Clapton 28-23 in London Two North West on Saturday.

After fumbling the kick-off and conceding a scrum in their 22, Walden saw the home side go under the posts for an early converted try.

Epping then won the restart and forced Walden to concede a penalty, which was kicked for touch, and good attacking lines from the lineout led to a second try to make it 14-0 with only five minutes played.

Walden hit back from a scrum of their own aftr Epping knocked on and a simple move off the back saw George Menhinick go over in the corner.

The hosts used the slope and breeze in their favour to add two penalties to make it 20-5 at half time, but Walden sparked into life in the second half.

With the elements now in their favour, the visitors kicked a penalty after four minutes and continued to kick deep into Epping's half to force another error.

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With the scrum and lineout working well, the Walden forwards combined to score the next try as several phases were finished off by prop Adam Smith going through a gap at close range to make it 20-15 on 47 minutes.

Walden had all the possession for the next 10 minutes but valiant defence kept them at bay until a penalty was conceded in front of the posts and some quick thinking by full-back Tom Price saw him sweep left to find second row Owen Edwards, who went over in the corner for his first try for the team to level.

Most of the play remained in Epping's half and, from another close-range scrum, number eight Nik Baker picked up from the base and fed scrum-half Matt Mellish, who passed down the line to Keegan Diggons, now playing on the wing, to sprint in at the corner and put Walden 25-20 up with the bonus-point try.

Walden kicked another penalty with eight minutes left to move two scores in front and great defence kept Epping out until the last play of the game, when the hosts kicked a penalty to ensure a losing bonus point as some consolation.

Walden will now hope to build on their success when they go back out on the road this weekend for the long trip to Holt.

*Saffron Walden are always looking for new players to play either in the first team or for the Saxons in Eastern Counties One West.

Anyone interested in joining the club can email info@swrfc.co.uk or graham.marshall2@ntlworld.com.

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