Strong start for Saffron Walden as competitive rugby returns with a bang.
- Credit: GEORGE PHILLIPOU/TGS PHOTO
Saffron Walden started off their new league season in fine style with a well-fought victory at home to Southwold.
The London Two North East contest at Henham was watched by a good turn out of supporters and most of them left happy as Walden won 20-12..
It has been a long 18 months without competitive rugby and the early encounters were nip and tuck as both sides settled in.
The visitors opening scoring with a try out wide out but Walden hit back within five minutes.
Some sustained pressure from the restart created a gap in the defensive line for second row Charlie Potter to use his power and pace to go over.
Tom Price converted that and after Walden had turned down a succession of easy three points to go from another try, they decided that points on the board was more important and Price landed the kick to make it 10-5 at the interval.
And any fears that the home side would lose their momentum with the enforced break were soon dispelled as they kept up sustained pressure for the opening 10 minutes.
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And after keeping the ball for phase after phase, scrum-half Conor McCabe and fly-half Paul Marshall sped the ball down the line, with backs and forwards combining before a final deft pass by prop James Boviard gave Price the space to glide over the line and score.
Converting his own try gave Walden a 17-5 lead but the buffer of two scores was cut midway through the half with a second try for Southwold, this one under the posts to make the conversion a formality.
Walden regrouped though and pressurised the visitors into giving away a penalty at the breakdown just outside the opposition 22.
Rightly captain Kevin Lock opted to kick with Price obliging to give them an eight-point lead and 10 minutes remaining.
And despite Southwold's best efforts, Walden denied the visitors any more scoring opportunities until the last play of the game when they were awarded a penalty 30 metres out.
They went for the kick which would have given them a losing bonus point but frustratingly for them, that sailed wide and Walden took the four points.
Next game is at Cantabs on Sat 25th September 3pm kick off.