Saffron Walden RFC land second successive London 2NE win
PUBLISHED: 10:17 12 November 2015 | UPDATED: 10:17 12 November 2015
A second successive London 2NE win, this time 31-20 at Cantabrigian, has propelled Saffron Walden into the league's top four.
Following a minute’s silence, the home team were first to apply pressure as they won a penalty at the first scrum, kicking towards the corner. Then followed a couple of drives to the line and they managed to score a converted try.
The different styles of play between the two teams was soon made apparent when Walden regained possession and attacked using the pace of their backs, combined with the forwards. Scrum-half Will Brown made a break just inside the hosts’ half, offloaded to captain and second row James Gosden who sped towards the fullback, sent a perfect pass to centre Mark Kimberley who went under the posts to level the score after eight minutes.
Cantabs regained the lead with a penalty when Walden strayed offside in front of the posts.
Six minutes later, after several phases, Walden used quick hands to feed the ball down the blindside to give winger Ben Nash the chance to go past his opposite number. Standing the full-back up, he went round under the posts for a converted try taking the score to 14-10. A crucial score at a pivotal time. On the half-hour mark, Walden scored their third try when they attacked down the centre and, as the backs were stopped 15 metres out, an overlap was quickly spotted and the ball was passed down the line for prop Harry Stocking to go over unopposed to stretch the lead to 19-10.
Cantabs had not given up and used their strength to take the next score when they kicked to the corner and used a well-drilled lineout to drive over to narrow the gap to 19-15 at the break.
The second half started with Walden in the ascendancy, working the ball towards the Cantabs 22. From the lineout, Walden pressure told as they failed to clear and had to dot the ball down in the goal area to concede a five metre scrum.
Great work by the Walden tight five, even though they had to make a couple of changes in the front row, meant they won the ball and Cantabs had no answer as Kimberley went over for his second, and bonus point, try following some good work by Matt Holden.
The game was effectively put out of the reach of the home side as they tried to launch an attack deep inside the Walden half. The ball went loose and centre Mitch Clare was first to it, picking it up and running the length of the pitch to score Walden’s fifth try for 31-16.
To Cantabs’ credit they worked hard right to the end and had the final score with yet another driving maul with five minutes remaining to narrow the gap, but they could make any further headway.
This was a good match played in the right spirit and Walden now face second-placed Sudbury back at Henham and will know they will have to be in top form to stand a chance of gaining ground on the visitors.