Rugby: Saffron Walden move back to the top of the table with win over South Woodham Ferrers

Nik Baker scored two of Waldens six tries against South Woodham Ferrers on Saturday. Nik Baker scored two of Waldens six tries against South Woodham Ferrers on Saturday.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014
9:25 PM

Saffron Walden moved back to the top of the table after running out 41-5 winners at South Woodham Ferrers.

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It was another comfortable win for the team without playing their best, and a psychological boost to go back top of the pile, allbeit Ipswich have a game in hand.

Walden ideally need to take 10 points from the final two games to really crank the pressure on Ipswich, who would then need to win all three of theirs, including a tricky final day fixture at South Woodham.

Walden started well on Saturday. Regaining possession from the kick off they strung a couple of good phases together and stretched the home defence. Soon they found space for winger Dave Patch to break a tackle wide out and go over the line after two minutes. Full back Tom Price kicked a difficult conversion out wide.

A Price penalty was soon followed by the second try as Patch cut in off the wing, broke through the defence and off-loaded to centre Adam Miles, who used his strength to get over the line with only nine minutes on the clock.

Fifteen minutes later the forwards got into the act, pushing closer to the try line. Eventually, Nik Baker picked up from the base of a ruck two metres out to dive over and score in the corner. Price kicked another good conversion.

Ferrers had the rest of the half’s play and were rewarded with a well-worked try three minutes from the break.

But Walden were once again in the ascendency from the restart. They worked their way into the Ferrers half and, when the hosts conceded a penalty, kicked to the corner. From the resulting line-out they set up a driving maul and Baker spun off the back to stretch out to score the bonus point try.

Both sides had some good passages of play but without continuity as the next 20 minutes was played in the centre of the park.

Then Walden woke up in the last 10 minutes. They broke through the line and were stopped one-metre out before the referee punished some cynical play by one of the Ferrers players. He was sent to the bin for 10 minutes.

Walden made good use of the man advantage to score two more tries in the final eight minutes. Prop Steve Mugridge first rampaged towards the line to score. And, in the last minute, substitute prop Harry Stocking scored his first try for the team, latching on to an off-load by Hughes to barge his way over under the posts. Price added the simple extras.

Walden travel to Holt on Saturday, 3pm start.

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