Saffron Walden show fight against leaders

PUBLISHED: 17:00 16 January 2018

A Saffron Walden player shows the scars of battle (pic Jamie Pluck)

A Saffron Walden player shows the scars of battle (pic Jamie Pluck)

Archant

Saffron Walden put up a brave fight in their 26-0 loss to London One North leaders Chingford at the weekend.

Travelling down the M11 on the back of a 107-7 mauling at the hands of fourth-placed Essex rivals Colchester, Walden could have been excused for fearing the worst in east London.

But the players dug deep and showed plenty of character in a credible performance to be truly proud of.

The home side dominated the opening five minutes and opened the scoring with a well-worked try, which was converted.

But Walden showed dogged determination to hold on to the ball for longer periods than in previous weeks, frustrating the leaders and restricting them to just two more tries before the end of the first half.

Far from tiring after the restart the visitors actually stepped up their game in the second period and looked more likely to score.

Chingford conceded a string of penalties that eventually saw two of their players sent to the sin bin for offside and slowing the ball down at the breakdown.

And Walden went close to scoring on several occasions, only to see Chingford’s defence hold firm and keep them at bay.

Instead, the final score of the match came from Chingford’s flanker, who produced a superb solo effort with eight minutes remaining to clinch their bonus point.

Great credit is due to Walden, who saw flanker Ben Stapleton, winger Rob Booth and full back Chris Clayton-Smith all make welcome returns from injury.

And there was also a notable debut from prop Tom Wood, while the Walden man of the match award went to centre Jon Goodin.

Simon Hallows, Keith Thornicroft, Will Walker and Stuart Smith also stepped up from the Saxons to impress and give hope to Walden, who saw their 13th defeat in 16 league matches leave them one point above local rivals Letchworth and seven clear of bottom club South Woodham Ferrers.

They entertain Ruislip this weekend and all supporters are welcome at Henham, where the action gets underway at 2pm.

The club are always looking for new players for both their first and second XVs, who play in Eastern Counties One West.

Anyone interested in joining can contact the club via email at graham.marshall2@ntlworld.com or info@swrfc.co.uk.

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