Sat 26
1st XV
34
-
28
League
Harlow
Walden come through with three late tries.

Walden come through with three late tries.

By Graham Marshall
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Walden gain back to back wins for the first time since end of Oct.


On a bright windy afternoon at Henham Walden entertained Harlow in a hard fought encounter with the result in doubt until the final whistle.
Walden started strongly and scored a well worked try after 10 mins, working the ball out wide on the left, winger Paul Marshall chipped ahead and flanker Brad Baker was on hand out pacing the defence to dive on to the ball. Flyhalf and captain Mark Kimberley kicked the extras to put Walden 7 points up.
With the breeze in their favour Harlow had the better of the rest of the half and with some astute kicking by their fly half and fullback consistently pinned Walden deep inside their half. The first of three tries came after 20 mins with some good one out runners sucking in the Walden defence, eventually creating an overlap on the right to level the scores.
The next was a classic forwards try as they drove over the line and then they exploited a one man advantage after a Walden player was sin binned following an altercation leaving the half time score at Walden 7 Harlow 21.
Walden knew they would have to play better in the second half and with the elements now in the favour they came out looking more determined to play to their strengths and not to be sucked into a forwards battle. Centre George Menhinick made a great break out of defence to get very close to the visitors try line before being tackled. Harlow then knocked on and from the resulting scrum 10 metres out the ball was fed quickly down the line to Marshall who scored sprinting through a gap created as his opposite number was held wide by Walden's fullback Conor McCabe.
Walden enjoyed the better of the next 20 minutes and Harlow defence became desperate giving away a series of penalties, eventually the Ref lost his patience sin binning a player.
Walden exploited the gaps created and Marshall went over for his second try wide out to cap a Man of the Match performance narrowing the gap to 4 points.
Harlow bravely fought back and scored their bonus point try as Walden made a bit of hash of the restart 17 -28 with only 10 mins left on the clock.
Now needing 2 more scores it was to the home teams credit that they dug deep still believing they could win the game and so it proved to be with three tries in quick succession. The first by Matt Holden now playing at No8 he found himself supporting right winger Vili Navia and barged over.
Then after the restart Walden again worked the ball with some great play by the forwards as they exploited a tiring Harlow pack and it was Kimberley who found a gap in the defence to glide over the line to score a converted try to put Walden one point ahead at 29- 28 with 6 minutes left on the clock.
From the restart Walden secured the ball and kicked it long deep inside the Harlow half and a great chase by substitute winger Nick Brown put pressure on the visitors and as they regathered the ball they knocked it on, he picked it up to sprint over the line unopposed for his first try for the first team.
This put Walden ahead 34 -28 with 2 mins left on the clock, Harlow desperately tried to get the try to win the game and came close with a break down the right only to be pushed into touch 2 metres out. Walden managed to clear their lines and eventually Harlow conceded a penalty and Walden kicked the ball dead to end a thrilling contest.
A great comeback, gaining back to back wins for first time since the end of October and building some confidence to take with them on the coach to Southwold in two weeks time.

We are always on the look out for new players to play either in the first team in London 2NE or the Saxons (2nd team) in Eastern Counties 1West, if you are interested in joining our friendly club please contact either info@swrfc.co.uk or graham.marshall2@ntlworld.com

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Match details

Match date

Sat 26, Jan 2019

Kickoff

15:00

Competition

London 2 North East

League position

5
Saffron Walden
11
Harlow