Walden slip to sixth after Rochford loss

PUBLISHED: 11:04 20 November 2014

Tom Price. Picture: Jamie Pluck

Tom Price. Picture: Jamie Pluck

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Saffron Walden slipped to sixth in the London 2NE table after a 32-27 loss to Rochford Hundred - their second defeat in three games.

Walden were seemingly on their way to win number five of the season when Harry Beddows put his side in front after fighting back from 12 points down but they surrendered the lead instantly from a penalty before conceding a try 10 minutes later that even a late surge could not overcome.

With the inconsistency of Walden’s results - their last four games have ended win, loss, win, loss - this weekend’s visit from South Woodham Ferrers should end with a victory.

To do that, though, they will have to tighten up their defence. Rochford took the lead after isolating the Walden full-back and touching down under the posts.

Tom Price kicked the hosts’ first points of the game and was perfect with his next attempt, adding the extras to Dave Patch’s try.

A penalty just before the break levelled the scores and handed momentum to Rochford. They took advantage from the kick-off as they put Walden on the back foot with an excellent kick and chase. When the ball went loose they pounced and ran over the undefended line to go 15-10 up.

Rochford then scored a carbon copy try to go 12 points ahead after 50 minutes.

Walden regrouped and started playing the better open-play rugby and a few minutes later Patch scored his second when the ball was played down the blind side, he found the overlap and scored wide out. The conversion narrowed the gap to 22 -17.

Walden retook the lead five minutes later as they worked their way up the field and Beddows cut inside and beat the last man to put his side in front.

Walden committed the cardinal sin of giving away a penalty almost straight from the kick-off and Rochford gratefully accepted the three points to regain the lead.

The final try arrived 10 minutes later as a lineout 20 metres from Walden’s tryline set up a rolling maul, which resulted in a penalty try after the referee spotted an infringement.

Walden were not done and with five minutes to go they gained a penalty and narrowed the gap to 32-27, setting up a tense finale. They repeatedly attacked but each time Rochford were up for the challenge and the score remained unchanged.

A losing bonus point was hardly compensation for the effort put in and although a better performance than last week, defence still remains a problem for Walden and if this can be tightened up and a little more composure in areas close to the opposition try line the wins will come back.

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