May 23 2013 Latest news:
Monday, March 4, 2013
FOLLOWING last week’s abandonment of the game due a frozen pitch, Saffron Walden were happy this week to play a full match for the first time in eight weeks.
Unfortunately, their lack of match practice showed with a Shelford side, reinforced this time with four Northampton Saints players, running out deserved 27-0 winners.
Shelford dominated possession throughout although Walden showed solid tackling technique and strength of purpose to deny the visitors opportunities to break the line.
The first try came only after 23 minutes and the half-time score of 12-0 indicated the game was far from over.
Walden’s kicking game from the hand was unusually inaccurate, serving on several occasions only to apply rather than relive pressure. Shelford’s speed to the ruck was matched by Walden’s frequent inability to quickly support the tackled player, resulting in turnover ball.
In spite of the presence of their star imports, Shelford were ill-disciplined and were surely fortunate to complete the game with a full complement of players – on no less than three occasions the referee had no option but to send a Shelford player to the sin-bin for cynical and repeated offences including tripping and a late tackle.
Walden showed commendable restraint in the face of such provocation, but were unable to capitalise on the resulting penalties. Shelford’s tries, two in the first half and three in the second, all came from impressive back-line moves and highlighted the speed and strength of their senior players.
Playing and especially tackling performances worthy of note for Walden came from centre Ben Morris, both Flankers Josh Curtis and Ciaran Wood, as well as captain John Clark.
Walden look forward to a return to league action at the weekend away at Wanstead.