Norfolk side edge second half to take points from Saffron Walden
PUBLISHED: 10:06 15 December 2016 | UPDATED: 10:06 15 December 2016
Saffron Walden’s two-match unbeaten London One North run came to an end with a tight 31-24 defeat at North Walsham on Saturday.
With the scores level at 21-21 after Walden tries from Steve Mugridge, Doug Hill and Adam Miles, the hosts just ground out the victory in the second half to condemn Danny Hunter’s men to just a losing bonus point.
Walsham were first to score after five minutes as they moved the ball wide for their winger to go over in the corner.
But Walden levelled the score on 10 minutes as they worked the ball deep into the home 22.
After several phases second-row Mugridge powered over and full-back Tom Price added the two points.
Walden then went ahead with an attack down the blindside.
Price sensed that there was no cover and kicked behind the Walsham defence with no.8 Hill first onto the ball and he ran in Walden’s second try.
From the restart Walsham forced Walden to concede a penalty and they kicked to the corner.
From the resulting line-out Walden had a player binned for 10 minutes for coming in at the side.
With Walden down to 14 the home team made good use of their advantage, scoring two tries during this period to move seven points ahead at 21-14.
But restored to the full compliment of players for the last five minutes of the half Walden repeatedly attacked, forcing a series of penalties.
Just as it looked as though the half would end with the visitors behind Walden got lucky as the ball was fumbled and as it went backwards the referee played on.
Centre Miles was first to react, spotting a gap and was through under the posts to level the scores in the last play of the half.
After the interval the rain became more persistent and not surprisingly both teams found it hard to get good ball as handling errors crept into the game.
Although Walden had a scrum advantage in the first half things turned round for the home team in the second half and they used this advantage to get more possession and score a try on 55 minutes.
They extended their lead to 10 points when Walden gave away a penalty for offside and things looked difficult for Walden with only 15 minutes remaining.
But one thing you know is that Walden do not give up and they repeatedly tried to run the ball out from deep inside their own half but some good defence by the home team thwarted the visitors.
However, with two minutes of the game remaining Walden finally got deep into the Walsham half and they were forced to concede a penalty.
After some debate Walden decided to kick the three points to put the team back within seven points and losing bonus-point range.
A nervy last minute saw Walden under pressure but they held on to come away with the point.
Walden return to action against Chelmsford at Henham on Saturday who will be out for revenge after Walden gained a narrow win against them at the start of the season.
Kick-off is 2pm.
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