Saffron Walden all set for new London One North campaign after final pre-season victory

PUBLISHED: 07:00 01 September 2016

Mark Kimberley. Picture by Jamie Pluck.

Mark Kimberley. Picture by Jamie Pluck.

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Danny Hunter’s Saffron Walden beat Enfield Ignatians 19-5 in their second and final warm-up game before the new London One North campaign kicks off on Saturday.

Enfield piled on the pressure in the first 20 minutes and were strong in the scrum and set-piece.

When Walden received the ball they showed glimpses of the running rugby that won them the title last year.

Towards the end of this period Walden showed some determined defence as they repeatedly held out phase after phase as the home team were camped in the visitors’ 22.

Some great technique held out several driving mauls, one of Enfield’s traditional strengths.

Then came a chance to turn defence into attack and Walden were swift in getting the ball out to left wing where sevens specialist Vili Navia who used his pace and strength to round his opposite number on the halfway line and then hand off the full-back to sprint over the try-line to score in the corner.

The conversion was missed but the away side entered the half-time break with a 5-0 lead.

In the second half Walden upped the intensity as they started to gel in attack and it was not long before replacement left winger Ben Nash combined with centre Mark Kimberley to send last year’s top try scorer over unopposed under the posts.

Full-back Tom Price kicked the conversion to increase the lead to 12-0 after 60 minutes.

There was a lapse in concentration five minutes later as the Enfield winger gratefully gathered a loose ball and split the Walden defence to narrow the gap to 12-5.

But Walden regathered their composure and regained the ball from the kick-off and backs and forwards combined with flanker Andrew Lancaster on the end of a fluid move to dive over the line for another converted try. 19-5.

Walden host Sudbury in their league opener on Saturday with a 3pm kick-off.

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