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1st XV - Match centre

Saffron Walden
Eton Manor
Sat 2 Sep 15:00 - London & SE Division - London 1 North Full time

Bonus point gained to start the new season

Walden come out second best, but a game with 12 tries in the Sunshine is good to watch.

The first game of the new season saw Walden host Eton Manor on a bright sunny afternoon.
In this high scoring match it wasn't long before the first try came as Walden regained the ball from the kick off, they attacked down the blind side fullback Mark Kimberley received the ball and chipped over the top of the covering defence just beating his opposite number to the ball to score. Fly half Tom Hughes kicked the conversion to put Walden 7 points in front after only 4 minutes played.
Eton Manor hit back straight way with 2 tries of their own to go up 12 – 7 with less than 8 mins on the clock.
In this frantic first 10 mins the visitors cleared with a long kick out of defence only for debutant winger Ollie Webber to gather the ball. Using his pace and strength to beat several defenders he run over the half way line and finding flanker Ben Stapleton on his shoulder a pop pass saw Stapleton run towards the line stepping a couple of players to score putting Walden back in front 14 -12.
The pace did not let up and Manor scored their third try and then Walden gained a penalty kicking the 3 points before the visitors scored one more before half time to leave the score at the break 17 – 26.
The visitors had the better of the third quarter and scored 3 well worked tries to put the game beyond Walden's reach as they stretched their lead to 17 – 45.
But Walden did not give up and camped themselves inside the visitors 22mtr line and eventually after some sustained pressure it was flanker Brad Baker who ran a good line to break the defence to go over under the posts for Walden’s third, 24 – 45 with 10 mins of the game left.
Walden kept on giving their all knowing they needed one final effort to get the Bonus Point try. Attacking from within their own half quick ball off the base of a ruck saw Substitute 2nd row Luke O'Malley hit a gap at pace and make 25 metres deep into the visitors half and with just the full back to beat threw a great pass to Baker supporting him on the inside to get over the line despite the close attention of one of the defenders.
Having got the bonus point try and with only 2 minutes of the game left some of the energy went out of the home team and Eton Manor scored again to seal a deserved win with the final score 29 -50.
Walden can take heart from the fact that they didn't give up and scored some good tries against a well organised team. Great work by debutants Ollie Webber and front row Peter Frost along with O'Malley returning after a season out of the game because of injury.
Several regulars were missing when they return over the next couple of weeks it bodes well for the future.
We are always on the look out for new players to play either in the first team in London N1 or the Saxons (2nd team) in Eastern Counties 1West, if you are interested in joining our friendly club please contact either or

OMW Skills Series: 2-ball touch

Videos and photos

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