Saffron Walden get revenge win over Ipswich rivals in a try bonus-point performance
PUBLISHED: 17:30 22 February 2019
Saffron Walden avenged an earlier loss to London Two North East rivals Ipswich with a 27-21 win at Henham.
The hosts started brightly and took the lead after two minutes when full back Ivan Karsten scythed through a gap in the visiting defence for a converted try.
And Walden doubled their lead five minutes later, attacking from deep inside their own half with Karsten chipping over the defensive line and carrying upfield, befoer offloading to Alex Packenham-Walsh to sprint over.
But Ipswich forced a turnover and set up a series of phases to work their way upfield and over the line for a converted try of their own to halve the deficit on 12 minutes.
And after reclaiming the restart and moving into Walden territory once more, they saw the home side reduced to 14 men for a high tackle.
Ipswich took advantage to score two converted tries in quick succession to move 21-14 ahead with 15 minutes still to play in the first half.
Walden were soon back on the attack once at full strength and set up phases to get to within 10 metres of the line, before quick thinking by George Menhinick saw him pick up from the base of the ruck and ran in unopposed.
And the home side regained the lead five minutes before half time when Ipswich were penalised for slowing the ball down at a ruck, with a penalty putting Walden 22-21 up at the interval.
The second half was much tighter as defences held the upper hand for the first 20 minutes.
A fine clearance kick by fly-half Tom Price, after several weeks out, took Walden to halfway and number eight Brad Baker stole Ipswich line out ball for Keegan Diggons to find Price.
Ben Stapleton joined the line at pace to receive a pass and run through a gap to the 22, before chpiping ahead for captain Paul Marshall to dot down for the bonus-point try.
Ipswich, now six points behind, threw everything at Walden in the closing stages but could not find a way through as the pack excelled against larger opposition, with Baker and man of the match Joe Robinson impressing most at the set-pieces.
A good day was completed by Saxons beating Diss seconds 27-26 from the last kick of their game.
Walden visit third-placed Stowmarket next on March 2.
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