Colts start Cup campaign with win
Walden overcome Bury in hard fought encounter
The Colts' Eastern Counties Cup campaign got underway at Bury St Edmunds on a cold, overcast Sunday lunchtime. Afforded the use of the Bury 1st XV pitch, Walden began rather recklessly with too many out-the-back-of-the-hand passes that went to ground, missed their target or were knocked on. Bury were clearly up for the fight and were prepared to use their backs to create opportunities. Both sides were defending well when Ollie Newman strolled through the home side from a penalty 30 metres out. TC made the conversion to give the visitors the lead 0-7.
From the restart Walden applied yet more pressure only to throw a speculative pass in the Bury 22 which was seized on by the gold shirts, the Bury winger running the length of the pitch to score. 5-7. Deciding that the champagne rugby was best discarded with Walden set about a much more workmanlike pattern of play, driving around the rucks in ones and twos and making ground. Eventually with play yet again in the home 22 the ball came right and Oscar Norman outran the covering defence to cross the whitewash. 5-12.
Bury came back immediately and took advantage of a Walden sin-binning to bring parity to the scoreboard, going over from close range. 12-12. With only a few minutes to half time, a nicely worked phase of play by the pack had the ball coming right with Ollie Newman on the charge, bursting through the tackles to restore the lead. TC added the extras.
Though the visitors began the second half with only 14 players it didn't seem to be a handicap. From the whistle there was a far greater degree of urgency, more intensity and directness about the play. With Bury camped in their 22, a loose clearing kick was fielded by Oscar who ran it back across the pitch, outpaced the defenders and touched down to extend the lead. 12-24.
Walden were guilty of butchering at least three more try scoring opportunities, two of which comprised losing control of the ball when over the line! However, the victory was sealed when Dan Cohen took a short ball near the line and this time managed to hang onto it. 12-29.
Bury were always competitive but Walden's defence proved to be resilient in the main, snuffing out any opportunities the home side tried to create. All in all a good game, played in the right spirit and one befitting a Cup match. Many thanks to Bury for the hospitality and the medical aid.