Walden returned to winning ways at Basildon whose recent results suggested an up turn in fortune for the club languishing at the foot of the league.
With only 5 minutes on the clock Walden's No8 Nik Baker turned his ankle over and had to be replaced by his brother Brad. But the disruption did not stop Walden playing some sparkling attacking Rugby for most of the first half.
The first try came after only 8 mins when a clearance kick from Basildon was caught by right winger Ben Stapleton and he ran forward beating a couple of defenders, off loaded to flanker Matt Holden who dived over in the corner. 5 – 0.
Walden then worked the ball deep into the Basildon half with a series of phases, a deft kick through from fly half and captain Mark Kimberley put the ball in space and Holden was first to it to score in the opposite corner. 10 – 0 11mins.
From the restart the ball was caught by 2nd Row Joe Robinson who brushed off a couple of defenders and combined well with Brad Baker to out fox the covering defence with a couple of neat passes and Robinson went over near posts to put Walden 17 points up with Kimberley kicking the points.
Basildon hit back with a good try of their own as they worked the ball wide and scored after a good spell of possession. 17- 7 18 mins.
The game went quiet for 10 mins, but Walden scored 3 quick tries, the first when left winger Paul Marshall intercepted a pass with the home team sensing another scoring opportunity and he raced 80 metres for the Bonus point try.
Then 4 minutes later Brad Baker used his power to cross the try line following some good work by the rest of the pack, then from the restart Walden kicked long and Basildon kicked it back however Walden gathered the ball and used quick hands along the backs to send Marshall over for his second try to effectively seal the game at 34 – 7.
With the last play of the half Basildon gained a penalty and kicked to the corner and drove over from the subsequent line out to leave the half time score at 34 -12.
The second half was a much tighter affair and Walden struggled for large parts of the half to get their hands on the ball and it was Basildon who showed a bit more intensity.
They scored first after 5 mins to pull the score back to 34 – 19. Then for the next 20 mins it was only Walden’s determined defence that prevented the home team from scoring in this period. Eventually they managed to score their 4th try to narrow the gap to only 10 points at 34 – 24 with still 12 minutes to go.
Walden settled down and looked the stronger team in the last 10 mins and the win was sealed when Matt Holden scored his third with a strong run down the left to leave the final score at 24 – 39.
A great first half attacking display and with good defence in the second half Walden gained a much needed victory, but they will know they must cut down on the penalty count as it could cost them in a closer fought game.
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