Walden extend run of league victories to four
PUBLISHED: 12:28 24 February 2015
Saffron Walden extended their winning run in London Two North East to four with a three-point victory away at strugglers Basildon.
The lead changed hands four times during the match but it was Walden who made the decisive break to take an eight-point lead into the final minutes. Basildon rallied to cut the lead to three but Walden forced a late turnover to seal the win.
Following a 15-minute delay while the match was moved away from Basildon’s usual pitch, which was unplayable, the hosts opened the scoring with an unconverted try. Walden replied in kind as Tom Hughes kicked forward for Ben Nash, who scooped up the ball and scored.
Basildon restored their five-point advantage but the lead was not theirs for long. A slick move by Walden’s dangerous backs set up a Mark Kimberley break. The centre timed his pass perfectly to send Nash over for his second try. Tom Price added the extras.
The lead changed hands before the break as Basildon won a scrum deep in Walden territory and forced the ball over the line to take a 17-12 advantage into the interval.
The to-and-fro pattern of the game was halted in the second half as Walden cut down on their individual errors and utilised the elements, which were now in their favour, to run in 13 unanswered points.
Will Brown’s quick-thinking tap-and-go set up a Price penalty after Basildon were marched back 10 metres for not retreating. Now in his range, Price obliged to close the gap to 17-15.
Walden called upon the ever-reliable Price again five minutes later after the hosts were penalised for not rolling away. The full-back split the uprights and Walden had the lead for the second time. They would not relinquish it again.
After a 20-minute stalemate, Price added to his tally with a try, bursting through a gap in the defensive line after a ruck. His kick was perfect and Walden had an eight-point 25-17 lead with four minutes to go.
Basildon didn’t relent and added three points to their tally but it was all they could muster as, from the restart, Walden hustled down the pitch and forced a turnover to seal a narrow win.