Late Williamson Try Secures Bonus Point Win
Walsall 27 Stafford 0
Walsall scored a dramatic late try to gain maximum points in what should have been a comfortable victory against a hard working Stafford team. Both teams had an obvious excuse because recent rain had made the Delves Road pitch very muddy in parts. But the hosts dominated throughout and could have secured the fourth try bonus point before the half time whistle. Once again, they made an encouraging start with centre Angell making the break that led to a penalty which Weston put over from twenty five meters. However, further scoring opportunities were missed before the hosts scored their first try. No8 Dickson and scrum half Pittaway combined before sending winger Jeffrey Williamson away on a thirty meter try scoring run. The Walsall winger showed good speed and strength to break through tackles and score near the corner flag. Good runs by Crowhurst,Pittaway and Hickman could have easily resulted in more scores. But it was just before the interval that saw Dickson secure a touchdown after a series of strong scrums near the Stafford line. Weston added the conversion to give his team a 15-0 lead.
It was a similar pattern during the second period with the hosts failing to capitalise on the chances that they had created. They did however brighten up the afternoon with a terrific try just as the game was entering the final quarter. Dickson made a good carry from inside his own half, replacement scrum half Jordan Sproule supported well and linked up with Simon Weaver. The Walsall prop threw a good pass to outside half Matt Wood which got the Walsall backs moving at pace. Angell,Weston,Walker and Crowhurst ran and supported well before the latter gave a return pass for Weston to go over. The Walsall centre added the conversion to extend the team’s advantage. There was then a long period of frustration for the home supporters as the team threatened, but never quite made the breakthrough for the bonus point fourth try. Stafford defended resolutely and indeed pressed forward towards the Walsall line on several occasions. While the hosts contrived to lose possession, or fail to pass at crucial moments. The try was scored however, with just two minutes left to play. This time the Walsall players showed good patience and good ball retention skills with Angell and flanker Hickman making strong ball carries before effective passes released Williamson on his try scoring run. Once again, he showed superb skills to fend off defenders and go over the line near the Walsall clubhouse. It was eventually a pleasing win for the Delves Road team. But there will be concern as more players joined their long injury list.