Last-minute Price kick sends Saffron Walden sailing into next round of National Intermediate Cup
PUBLISHED: 10:31 03 December 2015 | UPDATED: 10:31 03 December 2015
Tom Price kept his nerve to kick the visitors into the National Intermediate Cup third round.
With two minutes left to go, Walden knocked Heath off the ball and a couple of controlled phases saw them suck in a few defenders. The ball was spun out to the right wing and Nik Baker beat a defender to go over about 20m out from the touch line to put the away side within a point prior to Price’s conversion.
The ball sailed from the kicker’s boot and between the sticks just before the wind blew it off course to seal a memorable Walden win.
Walden had decided to rest some of the regulars giving chances to a number of players who have been on the bench to start and four others making their first team debuts.
The away side, assisted by the wind, had the better of some of the opening exchanges but could not turn chances into points.
In contrast Heath claimed a penalty and try to go 8-0 in front and on the half-hour mark that was improved to 15-0 as they snapped up a converted try.
Walden managed to claim a lifeline just before the interval though as second row Brad Baker intercepted a loose pass and had the pace to out-sprint the covering defence to score. Price stepped up to convert for 15-7.
Walden had an uphill battle in the second half with the wind now against them.
Things were made more difficult after 20 minutes as Heath scored their third try to make it 20-7.
Walden’s pack were now getting the better of the scrums and they proceeded to work the ball deep inside the Hampstead 22.
Wave after wave of attack forced Hampstead to concede two or three penalties for offside only a few metres from the line, and when with eight minutes to go scrum-half and captain Paul Marshall was pulled into a ruck before he had his hands on the ball, preventing him passing out to an obvious over lap, the referee lost patience and gave a penalty try.
Looking for the final score to claim a terrific come-from-behind win, Walden worked the ball towards the Hampstead try-line with purpose.
Great defence initially held Walden up with no.8 Baker stopped on the line, and in the final play he was fed and delivered the try out wide to secure the chance of victory which Price claimed in style.
League action resumes this Saturday with a home game against Rochford with a 2pm kick off.