Saxons come close to causing an upset against a strong Shelford team
A great performance by a mix of young and old denied by a controversial try at the very end of the game.
A penalty converted by Tom Hughes started the scoring off for the Saxons after a great start to the game to put Walden ahead.
Then two tries by flying winger Oscar Norman, the first after a break by Hughes from his own 22 the winger was in support to pick a perfect line to sprint over from 40 metres and then 10 mins later he used his strength to shrug off 3 tackles to go over in the corner to put Walden 15 points up after as many minutes.
The Shelford pack had the upper hand in the set piece and used this advantage to score 2 tries before half time to leave Walden leading by just 3 points at the break 15 -12.
Walden were first on the score board in the second half with a another penalty and then young scrum half Keegan Diggons spotted a gap and dived over for a converted try to put Walden 25 - 12 in front.
But with nearly 25 mins to play it was far from over and Shelford came back strongly with a well worked try of their own and then attacked again, Walden held them up over the line but from the 5 metre scrum they pushed the young Walden pack over to narrow the gap to 25 -22 with still 10 mins remaining.
To be fair Walden were clinging on but some great defence and some fantastic tackles looked like they might just hold out. Shelford had other ideas as they repeatedly attacked the Walden try line. A Shelford player drove towards the line and just as he got over he appeared to drop the ball forward, but he regathered and touched it down. Obviously the Referee and Touch Judge both did not see the initial knock on and after conferring awarded the try much to the dismay of the Walden players and supporters.
Shelford converted to take them crucially 4 points ahead with only 3 minutes on the board.
Walden regained the ball from the restart and set up a series of attacks just outside the home 22 and forced Shelford to give away a number of penalties but knowing that 3 points was not enough Walden had to just keep tapping and going. Eventually with time up Shelford managed to turn the ball over to kick the ball dead to win the game. 25 -29.
A really exciting game played in the right spirit with the result in doubt right up to the last kick of the game.
Walden can be proud that they managed to put out a true Saxons team, containing a large number of Colts that combined well and give hope for the future of the club. Saxons man of he match was awarded to James Bovaird.
Captain and Saxons Player of the Year Owen Edwards commented:-
I'm so proud of every man on the field today. I couldn't ask for any more from you all as a captain. Hold your heads high and we'll be back next season to get the cup. And thank you to all the lads who came to support. See you all next season.