Last-gasp heartbreak for Saffron Walden against unbeaten Ipswich

Saffron Walden suffered a last-gasp defeat at home to Ipswich.

Saffron Walden suffered a last-gasp defeat at home to Ipswich. - Credit: SAFFRON WALDEN RFC

Saffron Walden came within seconds of ending Ipswich's unbeaten start to the season before losing by a solitary point.

They led 22-20 with the game into its final phase but faced with a long-range penalty, much further than some he had missed earlier in the game, the visiting fly-half kept his nerve and gave his side a 23-22 win.

It was their fourth straight win in London Two North East and puts them second in the table.

But despite a second loss in four this campaign, Walden are sitting pretty in fifth and will now be confident they can mix it with the best in the division.

Ipswich started well and were three points ahead after just three minutes but straight from the restart, the hosts won the ball back and after a couple of phases, they put Ollie Webber into space and he scored in the corner for a 5-3 lead.

That was as good as it got for the remainder of the half with Ipswich enjoying the better of the game up to the break, scoring two converted tries for a 17-5 lead.

But Walden were a different proposition after half-time.

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After being awarded a penalty for holding on five minutes in, Tom Price kicked three points and from the restart, strong runs and quick ball allowed prop James Bovaird to channel his inner back and shimmy over in the corner.

Price's impressive conversion made it 17-15.

A further penalty from Ipswich, given for offside against Walden, stretched the advantage out again but it was still within one score and with five minutes to go, the home side retook the lead.

Maintaining possession for long periods, they stretched the play both left and right until they found a gap, Price spotting the gap out on the right before landing another fine conversion.

That gave them that 22-20 lead and they survived one penalty miss with three minutes to go, that one sailing wide.

Walden kicked long and forced a knock on in the centre of the park, giving them the feed into the scrum.

They failed to secure the ball and after conceding 20 metres, it was their turn to knock the ball forward, handing Ipswich a scrum 35 metres out on the left.

They put the ball in and quickly got it out. The scrum-half was tackled by the flanker but he had come round too quickly and that meant Ipswich had another chance.

This one was taken leaving Walden with nothing but a losing bonus point.

Walden travel to mid-table Wymondham on Saturday.

Their second team went down to a 47-0 defeat away to St Ives.

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