Sat 23
1st XV
Walden victorious at top of the table Woodford.

Walden victorious at top of the table Woodford.

By Graham Marshall
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A great all round display as Walden gain 5 points at Woodford

Walden travelled to top of the table Woodford with renewed confidence after a couple of good results in the league and the cup.
In almost perfect playing conditions Walden were soon on the score board after they had pinned down the home team deep inside their 22 forcing a penalty, captain Mark Kimberley playing at 10 took it quickly catching Woodford off guard to dive over in the corner. 0 – 5 after 5 mins.
Then 7 minutes later Walden worked the ball out of their half with some great interplay by the backs and right winger Rob Booth popped up on the left to receive the final pass, going over the try line and round towards the sticks. Kimberley converted 0 – 12.
Of course Woodford are not top of the league for nothing and they hit back mid way through the half with a break through the centre and a couple of passes later sent their winger over in the corner. 5 – 12.
On the half hour mark Walden had again worked the ball towards the Woodford 22mtr line and they forced the home team to concede another penalty. Again Walden tried to take it quickly but this time the Woodford full back immediately stopped them without attempting to retreat 10 metres and was sin binned for his troubles. Kimberley took the 3 points on offer.
From the restart the ball was gathered by Walden fullback Tom Price who jinked past 3 or 4 players to break the defensive line and raced into the Woodford half, Kimberley was on his shoulder and took a neat pass to beat the last man and went over under the posts to stretch the lead to 5 -22 after 31 mins.
Woodford were last to score in the half with a great driving maul from a line out 12 – 22.
The second half started, Walden kicked off and a determined home team tried in vain to break out of their half but some great defence stopped them progressing and eventually they were penalised for holding on and Walden kicked the 3 points.
Another penalty 5 minutes later for offside and Walden stretched the lead to 12 – 28.
Kimberley then got his hat trick finishing off a move after another great break by Walden's rampaging back row and the lead stretched to 12 – 35.
Woodford scored next after the Referee deemed they had got the ball down over the try line despite Walden's claims it had been held up. 19 – 35.
Sensibly Walden kept the score board ticking over as Woodford tried to chase the game but Walden forced them to give away penalties inside their own half and another 6 points gained to effectively kill the game at 19 – 41 with only 7 mins left on the clock.
Woodford managed two consolation tries the first after the Referee missed a blatant knock on and the second with the last play of the game to narrow the gap at the final whistle to 29 – 41.
But nothing could take away the great effort by all 18 players who left everything on the pitch and played with great spirit and discipline to take a deserved victory.
Next week (30th March) they play South Woodham Ferrers in their last home league game of the season 3pm kick off. Please come along to support it is always much appreciated.
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Match details

Match date

Sat 23, Mar 2019




London 2 North East

League position

Saffron Walden