Saffron Walden bounce back from poor start to record comfortable victory
- Credit: SAFFRON WALDEN RUGBY
Saffron Walden recovered from a shaky opening to storm to a big win away to South Woodham Ferrers.
They trailed 16-0 after 20 minutes but were ahead by half-time and eased through the second period to win 45-21 in their London Two North East contest.
Penalty trouble contributed to nine of those early points and a breakaway try simply exacerbated that.
But once behind their own posts for the first time, Walden seemed to be galvanised and finally started to put some meaningful passages of play together.
Soon they were attacking deep inside the home 22 and centre Adam Clarke's good line of running from a Tom Hughes pass saw him go over for Walden's first try. Mark Kimberley converted.
Five minutes later Walden once again found themselves close to the Woodham try-line and this time some good work by the forwards retaining possession with a series of drives ended with prop Nik Baker diving over to score.
Kimberley converted that one as well and made it three from three just before half-time when skipper Tom Pryke finished a good move to go over wide on the right.
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That gave them a 21-16 advantage at the break and they continued to keep tight hold of the momentum after the interval.
It didn't take them long to get their hands on the ball and after winning a line-out inside the home 22, and then a subsequent penalty, quick-thinking from scrum-half Conor McCabe took him away from a couple of grasping tackles and over for the bonus-point score.
Despite missing a penalty out wide, Walden continued to dominate the game across all areas of the park and Pryke eventually broke through the defensive barrier to get his second try and give Walden a 35-16 lead with 20 minutes still to play.
A penalty in front of the posts stretched the advantage further and they wrapped up their scoring with McCabe getting his second of the afternoon and Walden's sixth, Kimberley kicking the extra two points again.
They did switch off in the final eight minutes and gifted South Woodham a consolation try but this was a good win and leaves them seventh in the table and in good heart ahead of the visit of second-placed Woodford on Saturday.
Saffron Walden County High School's Year 8 team enjoyed a fine afternoon's work at Brentwood in the Essex Schools Rugby Festival.
After some tough games SWCHS topped their group, ensuring progression to the semi-final which they won 10-0 against a strong Orsett Acadamy side.
And they saved their best performance until last, defeating Fitzwimarc of Rayleigh15-0 in the final to win the tournament.