Walden U15's take a big Cup win against Cambridge
Walden kept their cool in a tense match to win 17-12
As predicted, a close game! Walden missing lots of players to injury and Newport school on tour left us depleted of options but a solid squad who were clearly up for the game. We needed a strong start so a penalty after 30 seconds was not part of the plan but the boys settle quickly and found their rhythm. Fraser scored after 5 minutes to boost the team, Morgan slotting the conversion. Cambs came straight back and some sloppy defence from Walden allowed a try in the right corner. 7-5.
A game of attrition followed with both teams working hard to apply pressure, the strong cold wind adding to the difficulty and adding to the count of unforced errors. Walden looked strong in the scrum, despite a weight disadvantage. The game ebbed and flowed until Fraser scored again after 24 minutes to give a 12-5 lad at half time. Ming came on just before the end of the first half and immediately made an impact with ball in hand and tackling. Walden had enough pressure to add another score but had failed to convert this into points. The lads were clearly frustrated.
The second half started with a kick off error in the strong wind and Cambs looked to grow into the game. After 10 mins they had scored and converted to level the scores, an excellent finish from Finlow. However, Walden had been on the cambs line with their own scrum a few minutes earlier and learnt the hard way; they must convert the pressure into points. We were held up over the line twice and again came close to the try line without scoring. Poor decisions in the last 10m let overall play dominance slip, Walden clearly were having the better of the second half. We continued with the game plan, mixed up the attacking momentum and were richly rewarded with a try by Morgan with 5 mins to go. 17-12. A very nervy end with Cambs rallying but Walden defended resolutely to preserve a well deserved win.
Finn was excellent at 9, scanning and reading the game. We defended strongly in the midfield to apply pressure on their backs. Charlie was awesome at 7, he tackled relentlessly throughout the game and was superb at the breakdown. Luke and Olly worked very hard to be quick to any breakdown. All the forwards worked hard and with strength to provide good clean ball for Finn to distribute. Our backs played very well, carrying and retaining ball. We kept our cool in defence and calmly worked out from our own try line to turn defence into attack.
So many good performances but Tom won MoM with a huge effort of calm defence and canny attack with some hugely impressive kicking at very key moments.