Saffon Walden return to top of table after beating Diss
PUBLISHED: 09:46 21 January 2016 | UPDATED: 09:46 21 January 2016
Saffron Walden RFC surged back to the top of London 2NE with a commanding 26-0 victory over title rivals Diss at Henham on Saturday.
Going into the game Walden sat one point behind leaders Diss having missed out on a bonus-point victory at Ipswich the previous weekend.
By the end of this entertaining encounter, the home side sat four points ahead thanks to tries from skipper James Gosden, Nik Baker, Adam Miles and Mark Kimberley.
In front of a large crowd, both sides exchanged penalties in the opening few minutes. However, it was Walden who were going to make theirs count in the seventh minute.
Scrum-half Paul Marshall took a quick tap, chipped it forward into space behind the defensive line and was first to the loose ball, kicking it on.
As the defence came across, Gosden picked up the ball, ran forward and just as he was tackled he reached out to score the opening try.
The game at this stage was tight with the visitors having the upper hand in the scrums although the hard work put in by the Walden pack showed as the advantage Diss enjoyed earlier in the season was not as significant as before.
Walden could have gone into the break two or three tries up but it remained just 5-0.
Ten minutes into the second period, Walden could have stretched their lead further but Tom Price skewed a penalty wide of the posts.
Although at this stage Walden were dominant and always looked the most threatening. Gaining ground, they worked the ball deep inside the visitors’ 22 and after several phases they suddenly switched the point of attack, wrong- footing the defence with No.8 Baker on the end to dot down in the corner. Price kicked a fine conversion to take the lead up to 12 points.
From another good clearance kick that put the ball deep inside the Diss half, the winger took a quick line-out and threw it long to the full back. Winger Miles was chasing hard and pressurised him into fumbling the ball. The Walden man was first to react, picking it up and running the 20m to dive over the line for 19-0.
Realising that the bonus point was within reach, Walden had nothing to lose and straight from the kick-off Gosden found winger Ben Nash who beat his opposite number and supplied Kimberley to crash over to secure the bonus-point try.
Another big victory for Walden but they will have to be on their guard this Saturday with Campion coming to town.
The visitors won the previous London 2NE meeting 43-38 back in October.