Walden go into break with fresh optimism

PUBLISHED: 17:00 20 December 2017

Action from Saffron Walden's latest match (pic Jamie Pluck)

Action from Saffron Walden's latest match (pic Jamie Pluck)

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Saffron Walden will go into the Christmas break with renewed optimism, despite a 50-22 home loss against North Walsham in London One North.

With several players set to return in the new year and the team showing good spirit and attitude, there is hope they can get enough wins in the second half of the season to avoid relegation.

Playing in front of a three-figure crowd following the VP’s Christmas lunch, but with a much-changed team due to injuries, family and work commitments, the hosts wore their new purple and green change kit for the first time at Henham.

But the visitors exploited gaps in the Walden defence early on to score three well-worked tries for a 19-0 lead that suggested another hard afternoon was in store.

Walden started to gel, though, and fly-half Tom Price found a perfect touch from a 40-metre penalty to set up a lineout, with a driving maul held up just short of the line.

The ball was recycled from the ruck, though, and second row Luke O’Malley ran on to the ball at pace on the blind side and shrugged off a tackle to barge his way over.

Walsham scored their fourth try soon after and touched down from the last play of the half to go into the break with a 33-5 lead.

Whatever was said in the home dressing room at half time seemed to work as Walden turned the ball over within two minutes of the restart, before it was fed to centre Ben Nash, who crashed over in the corner.

The visitors gave away a string of penalties and Walden exploited these with another kick to the corner, before they managed to drive over the line with hooker Sam Eardley’s try converted to make it 33-17.

For the next 10 minutes Walden still had the better of things and scored their bonus-point try with another driving maul, as front row Matt Holden touched down to narrow the gap to 11 points on 56 minutes.

That was as good as it got as the visitors finished strongly to score three more tries in the last 10 minutes to reach a half-century.

However, Walden Saxons came up with a big 36-14 win at Haverhill, helping boost club morale over the festive break.

The club is always looking for new players to play in the first team or Saxons. Contact either info@swrfc.co.uk or graham.marshall2@ntlworld.com.

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