Saffron Walden hang on for victory away to West Norfolk
- Credit: SAFFRON WALDEN RFC
Saffron Walden reached the halfway point of their season with victory away to West Norfolk keeping them sixth in the London Two North East table.
The 22-17 success in King's Lynn was their sixth from 11 games and while they are 11 points behind second-placed Woodford, they are 12 points clear of eighth-placed Southwold.
Norfolk had the better of the opening exchanges and roared into a 10-0 lead after 20 minutes thanks to a converted try, scored from a catch and drive from a line-out, and a penalty awarded for offside.
The second of those scores finally galvanised Saffron Walden and for the final 10 minutes of the half, they enjoyed the better of the play.
The pack had started to gain dominance at the scrum and with the line-out working well they started to create scoring positions.
The first try came after several phases deep inside West Norfolk 22, working the ball close to the try-line before a charging run by prop James Bovaird finished things off.
Captain Mark Kimberley kicked the conversion and Walden went straight on the attack from the restart.
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They got close once but West Norfolk managed to clear. However, they could only kick the ball to the edge of the 22 and after setting up a driving maul, quick thinking set Ollie Webber down the blind-side for a 12-10 half-time lead.
Play got bogged down in the middle of the park for the opening 15 minutes of the second half bu tthe turning point came when Conor McCabe's cross-field kick into space was pounced on before going dead by debutant winger Luke Wharton.
That was converted and a further penalty made it 22-10 with 15 minutes to go.
A loss of discipline hindered their forward momentum though and gave West Norfolk seven more points and they had the bit between their teeth when Walden were reduced to 14 with a yellow card three minutes from time.
Knowing three points wasn't enough, they kicked to the corner and set a driving maul which Walden managed to stop only a few metres out.
A couple of phases later they managed to work the ball over the line but Walden held it up bringing a five-metre scrum.
But despite being a man down Walden's scrum held firm and even when a pick and go from the home side's number eight, James Dobler, helped get them over the line, again the Walden defence held them up, Boivard to the fore.
This time the referee blew the final whistle to the relief of the Walden players.
They face Cantabrigian, the team directly above them in the standings, at home in their final match before the Christmas break.
The seconds meanwhile enjoyed themselves with a 45-0 win over their Ely counterparts.