London 1N: Saffron Walden 24 Ruislip 31

PUBLISHED: 13:00 25 January 2018

Action from Saffron Walden's clash with Ruislip (pic Jamie Pluck)

Action from Saffron Walden's clash with Ruislip (pic Jamie Pluck)


It was a case of lightning striking twice for struggling Saffron Walden as they lost on the last play of the match against rivals Ruislip for the second time in London One North this season.

In cold, wintry conditions at Henham, the home side knew they needed a win to enhance their chances of getting out of the relegation zone.

They began well and opened the scoring after five minutes with an attack from deep that saw left wing Rob Booth race along the touchline and then chip forward for second row Ben Stapleton to hack the ball towards the line and dive on it under the posts.

Full-back Tom Price added the conversion to put Walden 7-0 up and they doubled their lead eight minutes later as a good backs move saw centre Mark Kimberley find himself in space and, with right wing Adam Miles up in support, cut inside to beat his opposite number for a second converted try.

The strong Ruislip pack started to come into their own, dominating the scrum and using driving mauls from lineouts.

And they worked the ball into the Walden 22, before driving over from a five-metre lineout to halve the deficit with a converted try.

With only two minutes left in the half they went over again to cut hthe gap to two points at the half-time break, but Walden made a good start to the second half as Booth put pressure on Ruislip’s full-back and hacked a loose ball on to score under the posts.

The successful conversion made it 21-12, but the visitors rallied with a converted try before Walden kicked a penalty to make it 24-19 with 20 minutes left.

Ruislip held the upper hand in the closing quarter and, despite some valiant defence form Walden, scored a fourth try with a well-drilled move, sucking in the home side and creating an overlap to touch down in the corner and level things up.

And with time up, Ruislip then repeated the trick and, despite Walden’s frantic efforts to force a turnover, they went under the posts for a converted try to snatch victory.

Although proud of their efforts in defeat Walden know they now face a huge fight to avoid the drop and they travel to Watford to take on mid-table Fullerians this weekend.

The club are always looking for new players for first and second XVs. Email or for more details.

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