Picture gallery: Rugby: Saffron Walden Colts lose to North Walsham in Eastern Counties U18 plate competition
PUBLISHED: 11:52 11 February 2014 | UPDATED: 11:52 11 February 2014
In what for many of their players was their first game in a weather affected five weeks, the Saffron Walden RFC combined U17/18 team suffered a reverse in their second outing of the season, going down 39-3 to a North Walsham team boasting several Eastern Counties squad players.
Playing downhill and with a strong wind behind, the visitors would have expected to make the most of the conditions. Indeed, after a home side infringement at the breakdown Walden posted the first points of the game in the second minute with a Ben Morris penalty. After that, however, Walden struggled to make headway against a well-marshalled home defence.
With no further scoring for 30 minutes, it looked as though Walden might just reach the break with a slender 3-0 lead, however two well-worked tries in the final three minutes demonstrated the danger of the home attack and it was Walsham who were to lead at half-time by 17-3.
The challenges of a potent home attack, the uphill pitch and the prevailing wind in their faces meant that Walden had it all to do in the second period. Four further unanswered North Walsham tries were to prove far too much. Acknowledging that some of the Walden players were playing out of their usual position but were nevertheless willing to strive through to the final whistle brought accolades from the coaching team as well as both sets of supporters.