Saffron Walden open London One North account with a victory
PUBLISHED: 14:10 07 September 2016 | UPDATED: 15:01 07 September 2016
Brad Baker notched both tries as Danny Hunter's Saffron Walden began life in London One North with a 17-7 victory over fellow promoted side Sudbury at Henham on Saturday.
The visitors kicked-off and put pressure on the home team who played their way out of their own 22 and after a couple of phases scrum half Paul Marshall kicked long and the ball went deep into the visitors half.
A great chase put pressure on the Sudbury back three and, as they tried to pass the ball out of defence, No. 8 Baker reached up to pluck the ball out of the air to run in under the posts after only two minutes.
Full-back Tom Price converted to put Walden ahead by seven points.
Sudbury found their way back into the game soon after as they used their backs and forwards to good affect to create the space for a well-worked try to level the scores at 7-7.
But gradually the Walden pack were finding their feet and started pushing the visitors back in the scrums. In the second quarter Walden created three good chances but they came to nothing and there was no further score for the rest of the half.
At half-time the weather changed, heavy rain set in and the ball became slippery.
Some good kicking by fly half Tom Hughes pinned the visitors deep into their 22 and a mistake saw Walden regain the ball and nearly go over the try line only to be held up.
But from the resulting five-metre scrum Walden’s dominance showed as they pushed the visitors towards the line with Baker controlling the ball he dotted it down as they crossed the try-line.
Price kicked a difficult conversion and Walden regained the lead.
Walden dominated most of the second half as Sudbury, facing the elements, found it difficult to get out of their half.
Last-ditch tackling and a couple of penalties were given away, however Walden could not quite work their way over the try line as the visitors desperately held them out.
But with 15 minutes to go Sudbury gave another penalty away 30 metres out and Price stepped up and kicked it through the posts to give Walden a 10-point cushion and ensure a winning start to the new campaign.