Free-scoring Saffron Walden serve up another London One North classic

PUBLISHED: 16:07 11 January 2017 | UPDATED: 16:17 11 January 2017

Mark Kimberley races over the try line. Picture: Jamie Pluck

Mark Kimberley races over the try line. Picture: Jamie Pluck


Danny Hunter’s Saffron Walden are fast becoming the division’s entertainers and they proved it again at second-bottom Barking on Saturday.

The biggest winning margin of Walden’s last seven games has been nine points and they’ve also scored over 20 points in all of those games.

Again they found their free-scoring form but allowed errors to let the opposition into the game.

Things did not start well and after 10 minutes Walden soon found themselves two tries and 10 points adrift as they struggled to get into the game.

Gradually they began to tighten the defence up and the first Walden try came when finally they secured possession for a decent period of time, working their way into the Barking half.

A great chip through behind the defence saw centre Mark Kimberley first to it and he notched a fine try. Full-back Tom Price converted for 10-7.

Ten minutes later, after a couple good runs out of defence by flanker Ben Stapleton, Walden took the lead.

Prop Steve Mugridge received the ball 15 metres out, burst through a tackle and went under the posts unopposed.

Barking hit back as Walden failed to clear their lines, conceding a five-metre scrum.

The no.8 picked the ball up from the base of the scrum and barged his way over the try-line for 17-14.

From the kick-off Barking tried to run the ball out of defence but an errant pass saw it on the ground and centre Nick Dawson was first to it, fly-hacking it forward.

As the ball dribbled towards the try-line, another chip forward helped it on and fellow centre Kimberley managed to get enough of his fingertips on the ball to be awarded his second try to leave Walden 21-17 ahead at half-time.

It took only three minutes of the second half before Walden scored their bonus-point try.

Winger Adam Miles found himself on the end of great counter-attack as forwards and backs combined to create the space extending Walden’s lead to 28-17.

Barking came back and scored their fourth try to narrow the gap to 28-22 after 50 minutes.

Walden then extended their advantage, first with a penalty after Barking were penalised for not rolling away and then another converted try.

Connor McCabe marked his first start at scrum-half by showing good awareness to take the ball at the base of a ruck seeing there was no cover on the narrow blindside before scampering over.

Walden were looking good with a 16-point gap with 20 minutes left.

However, a yellow card reduced Walden to 14 men and Barking took full advantage, scoring a try at the end of this period

Then when they stretched the Walden defence they found a two-man overlap to take another try out wide to get within one score at 38-32.

With still three minutes remaining Walden became nervous.

Despite time being up Barking kept attacking and Walden were forced to concede a number of penalties but held out finally getting the turnover to secure the win.

Seventh-placed Walden, on a two-match winning streak, host league leaders Tring at Henham on Saturday.

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