Walden fight back for draw
Saffron Walden 20 Enfield 20 After a slow start Saffron Walden Rugby Club put in an improved second half performance to secure a share of the spoils at home to Enfield Ignatians on Saturday. Walden seemed to suffer a hangover from last week s Va
Saffron Walden 20
After a slow start Saffron Walden Rugby Club put in an improved second half performance to secure a share of the spoils at home to Enfield Ignatians on Saturday.
Walden seemed to suffer a hangover from last week's Vase defeat to Colchester in the first half, but they rallied in the second half and with a bit more luck may have snatched the victory.
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Captain Simon Chappell said: "We were asleep for the first half hour but we managed to pull ourselves back into it. Felix Harris scored a great solo try which gave us a huge lift and in the second half we were a different team.
"We showed great character and heart to come from 15-0 behind which was really pleasing. In the end we had chances to win it, but a draw was probably a fair result. "
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After a lethargic start from the hosts it was inevitable that Enfield would get on the scoreboard first and so it proved after 10 minutes when they created an overlap to go over in the corner for an unconverted try.
In the 25th minute Walden did have some possession just inside their own half but some loose play meant that Enfield were able to create a turnover and they quickly found they had a three on one allowing them to touch down for a converted try. A penalty on the half hour mark stretched Enfield's lead to 15 points.
At this point Enfield had a player sin binned for over vigorous use of a boot at the breakdown and finally Walden woke up.
The home team managed to get the ball into the visitors half and from about 30 metres out scrum-half Harris tidied up some loose ball, saw a gap and sprinted to the line to pull back seven points.
Still with the extra man and deep into injury time Walden worked their way back into the Enfield half and forced a penalty which Tom Hughes slotted to reduce the deficit to 15-10 at half-time.
Walden looked like another team in the second half and started playing with pace and aggression. They took the lead after a sustained period of pressure that sucked in the Enfield defence only 10 metres out and the ball was quickly spun down the line for centre Paul Marshall to find the gap and go round under the posts for a converted try.
Five minutes later Walden were again on the attack and Hughes found himself in the pocket 25 metres out and calmly kicked a drop goal giving Walden a five point lead at 20-15.
Enfield regrouped and managed to get the ball inside the Walden 22metre line and they managed to set up a rolling maul and drove over to level the scores, although the conversion was missed.
Both sides thought they could sneak the win and it was Walden who came closest with Marshall kicking and chasing a couple of times and flanker Chris Wisbey getting to within inches of the line.
On the last play of the match Enfield gave away a penalty 45metres out and Wisbey tapped and went and got tackled inside 10metres leaving Hughes a 35 metre penalty attempt from wide out. Unfortunately he was inches out as the ball drifted wide on the breeze.
On Saturday Walden visit Romford and Gidea Park.
Captain Chappell said: "We are almost back to full strength and it's a game we really want to win. We have got a week off afterwards so we will give it everything.
"It's the last game of the first half of the season and we want to finish on a high. If we win it should push us up into the top half which would be nice.