Walden notch four tries in share of spoils with Thurrock

PUBLISHED: 15:26 30 November 2016 | UPDATED: 15:32 30 November 2016

Saffron Walden RFC v Norwich

Saffron Walden RFC v Norwich

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Ben Nash's late try denied visiting Thurrock the victory and ensured a second draw in three league games for Saffron Walden at Henham.

Paul Marshall’s brace and a solo effort from Mark Kimberley secured three points for the hosts.

Thurrock were first on the scoreboard after five minutes.

The away side worked an overlap on the right and the winger dotted down in the corner for an unconverted try.

Walden hit back 10 minutes later as they worked the ball deep into the visitors’ 22 with several phases of possession,

Kimberley, settling into the role of fly-half, was on hand to break a couple of tackles to barge his way over the line.

Full-back Tom Price converted to put Walden ahead.

The lead was short-lived as Thurrock kicked a penalty after Walden had strayed offside.

On the half-hour mark Thurrock scored a converted try as Walden ran out of cover and stretched the lead to 15-7.

Walden were looking strong on the counter-attack and it was from deep inside their own half that they worked the ball wide to winger Nash and he raced forward towards the halfway line and with the cover coming across put in a grubber-kick that bounced out 35 metres from the try-line.

Thurrock missed their line-out jumper and Walden flanker Ben Stapleton was first on to it at the back of the set-piece.

Quickly striding into the 22 he rounded the first defender and threw a good pass to scrum-half Marshall who out-paced the covering defence to go over in the corner for Walden’s second to leave the half-time score at 15-12.

The hosts had the better of the opening exchanges of the second half but despite 10 minutes of pressure could not add to their score.

Indeed it was Thurrock who extended their lead with two penalties to go 21-12 up with an hour gone.

But Walden stuck to their attacking principles and they once again worked the ball deep into the visitors’ half as the backs and forward worked in unison.

Some good drives round the ruck meant they gradually got closer and Marshall then got his second when he spotted a gap and dived over from close range.

Thurrock almost immediately scored another penalty to take the lead back out to seven points but Walden regained possession and this time they spun it wide.

Nash used his power to fend off two defenders and then his pace to round the full-back to score under the posts for the bonus-point try putting Walden level with four minutes to go.

From the kick-off Walden attacked gaining a penalty wide out on the 10-metre line and they elected to kick but it dropped short.

Both sides tried in vain to work another opportunity to win the game but had to settle for a draw.

Walden welcome Old Priorians in the league on Saturday.

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