Saffron Walden celebrate a rare league win to retain hopes of avoiding the drop
PUBLISHED: 08:06 22 February 2018 | UPDATED: 08:06 22 February 2018
Saffron Walden kept their hopes of avoiding relegation from London One North alive with a 28-19 success at struggling South Woodham Ferrers.
It was only their third win of a difficult campaign, but the Henham club still hope to avoid the drop.
Wet ground and a slippery ball meant both teams found it hard to retain possession in the opening 10 minutes.
But Walden were first on the scoreboard when the hosts tried to pass the ball across the backs on their 10 metre line and fly-half Tom Price intercepted and sprinted 40 metres to score under the posts.
Price converted his own try to make it 7-0, but the hosts were back on terms five minutes later after working the ball upfield through several phases and crashing over for a converted try.
Walden put more pressure on the Ferrers defence from the restart and, as the home side tried to clear, a kick was charged down and second row James Gosden pounced to score and make it 14-7.
The visitors were now in the ascendency and attacking from deep they broke through the first line of defence with some strong running by the backs who combined well on the right.
Then after a good tackle by the full-back the ball was spun left for winger Olly Webber to run forward and chip it over the try line, but as he outpaced the defence and looked set to score he was pulled back off the ball.
The referee had no choice but to award a penalty try to stretch Walden’s lead to 21-7, but from the last play of the half Woodham scored a try wide out to cut the gap to nine points at half time.
The second half was a tense affair and Walden started off brightly, but despite going close a couple of times they could not get the ball over the line.
Woodham were held up over the line by dogged Walden defence, before right winger Adam Miles went over in the corner for a bonus-point try, converted by Price to make it 28-12.
The hosts never gave up and scored a late penalty try when a five-metre scrum was pushed over the try line and Walden pulled it down.
But Walden, for whom Nick Dawson who had to play most of the game at prop despite normally playing at inside centre, took the honours and to cap a fine day for the club, the Saxons beat Yarmouth and Broadland 48–28 to stay top of the table.