Walden get back to winning ways with bonus point joy over bottom club Basildon
PUBLISHED: 10:00 15 January 2019
Saffron Walden returned to winning ways in London Two North East with a 39-24 success at bottom club Basildon.
They had to overcome the early loss of number eight Nik Baker, replaced by brother Brad after injuring an ankle on five minutes, but did so in style.
Ben Stapleton caught a clearing kick and beat a couple of defenders before offloading to flanker Matt Holden to dive in at the corner for the first try.
And a deft kick from captain Mark Kimberley found space for Holden to win the face and go over in the opposite corner to make it 10-0 on 11 minutes.
Second row Joe Robinson caught the restart and brushed off defenders before combining well with Baker to outwit the home defence and going went over near the posts, allowing Kimberley to convert.
Basildon replied with a try and conversion of their own, but afer a quiet spell Walden scored three quick tries to take firm control.
Paul Marshall intercepted a pass to race in from 80 metres for the bonus-point try and Baker used his power to cross after good work from the pack four minutes later.
Walden kicked the restart long and then gathered Basildon’s return kick, before quick hands sent Marshall over for his second try to make it 34-7.
Basildon kicked a penalty to the corner and drove over from the lineout to score a try at the end of the half and went over again within five minutes of the restart to make it 34-19.
Walden’s defence held firm for the next passage of play to keep Basildon at bay until the 68th minute, when the hosts claimed their fourth try and cut the gap to 10 points.
And the visitors looked the stronger of the two sides in the closing stages, with Holden completing his hat-trick with a strong run on the left.
After a good attacking display in the first half and resolute defence in the second, it was a much-needed win for Walden, but they will keen to cut down on their penalty count in future fixtures.
Currently sitting in fifth place, they are set to welcome lowly Harlow to Henham this weekend.
The club are always on the lookout for new players for their first team and Saxons, who play in Eastern Counties One West.
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