Sat 21
1st XV
41
-
17
League
Stowmarket
Seventh heaven for Saffron Walden as they open home league season with emphatic win

Seventh heaven for Saffron Walden as they open home league season with emphatic win

By Alasdair Bovaird
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After a disappointing loss in their first league fixture, Saffron Walden had a point to prove as they hosted the visitors from Suffolk who had scored two wins over the home side last season.


The Henham-based club welcomed the return of two long-term absentees in the shape of former club captain Tom Pryke and Kiwi centre Jon Goodin, and two players making their first appearance for the club, prop James Bovaird and scrum half Matt Mellish.
And it was Mellish who set the early pace opening the scoring after seven minutes with Kimberley's successful conversion taking the lead to 7-0. With the home team dominating territory and establishing supremacy at scrum time, Walden were able to turn pressure into points with tries from Vili Navia and Ben Stapleton taking the lead to 17-0.
Saffron Walden suffered a setback with lock Hepworth forced to leave the field following an injury. Will McGinn moved into the second row with hooker Sam Butler taking his place on the flank. And the home supporters nerves were not eased when Stowmarket scored shortly afterwards with a penalty try being award following a rare breakout by the visitors. However Walden's mood was improved on the half hour with hooker Sam Eardley securing the try bonus point in the left corner. A penalty from Stowmarket concluded the first half to bring the half time score to 22-10.
The second half proved to be one of stout defence on the part of the home team. An interception by winger Vili Navia took the lead to 29-10 after 47 minutes but the home team then defended their line stoutly for the next 15 minutes before Stowmarket finally found a way through on 62 minutes - 29-17.
But that was to be as close as the visitors came: replacements scrum half Keegan Diggons and winger Oscar Norman entered the fray to provide some fresh legs as the defensive effort continued with Goodin showing the way in making tackle after tackle as the wind made it difficult for Walden to exit from their own 22.
Finally, the effort reaped its reward with skipper Mark Kimberley scoring two tries in the last ten minutes bringing the final score to a convincing 41-17 and the overall try-haul to seven for the men in green.
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Match details

Match date

Sat 21, Sep 2019

Kickoff

15:00

Competition

London 2 North East

League position

4
Saffron Walden
5
Stowmarket