Walden overturn a 12 point deficit to beat a strong Norwich team.
By Graham Marshall
Walden back up to fourth in the league.
With a strong wind blowing down the ground Walden played Norwich in an entertaining contest that kept both sets of spectators interested until the last kick of the game.
Norwich had the wind in their favour and they used this advantage to score an early try in the corner to go 5 points up after only 6 mins.
Walden soon levelled with some good play by the forwards creating an overlap with No8 Brad Baker giving simple pass to put full back Ivan Karsten over in the corner.
Norwich scored straight from the restart as they exploited a lack of concentration by Walden, they kicked off short regaining possession and a couple of passes later they went over in the corner. 5 - 10. 22 mins.
The visitors had the majority of possession and territory in the second quarter but some determined defence kept them out until virtually the last play of the half when they scored a converted try after a catch and drive from 5 metres out. 5 – 17 at half time.
Now with the wind behind them Walden knew they had to score early in the second half to get back in the game. They could not have scripted it better as straight from the kick off flyhalf Tom Price gathered the restart and aimed a long kick deep into the Norwich half. From the resulting line out Norwich won the ball but could only clear up to their own 22. A perfect line out with the ball quickly off the top and centre Adam Clark running onto the ball at pace splitting the defence to go under the posts. 12 -17. 42 mins.
Norwich hit back with a good move down the left with the winger breaking a couple of tackles to go over in the corner for an unconverted try. 12 - 22, 50 mins.
Apart from being under pressure at Scrum time Walden were beginning to dominate the game and Ben Stapleton was next to score following some neat work down the left as a series of short passes picked off the defence and he went over in the corner. Karsten kicked a fine conversion from wide out to put Walden within 3 points at 19 -22.
The next 10 mins saw Walden get close on a couple of occasions, but they were repelled with some good Norwich defence, but eventually the pressure told when they were awarded a penalty 7 metres out. Quick thinking by Left wing Paul Marshall as he took it quickly and before Norwich could react he'd put his head down, ran forward and despite being half tackled he reached out to score the Bonus point try. Another fine conversion by Karsten crucially took the lead out to 4 points 26 -22 with only 6 mins to play.
Norwich knew they would have to score at least a try, but Walden regathered the kick off and kept the ball with some fine work by the forwards gradually moving the play up the field with some good drives around the rucks.
With 3 mins to go eventually another long kick by Price saw the ball deep inside the Norwich half and a knock on gave a scrum to Walden 25 metres out.
The forwards dug deep retained possession and Norwich in their desperation to over turn the ball a player came in from the side at a ruck and a penalty was awarded.
Karsten stepped up keeping a cool head to not only run down the clock but to slot over a fairly difficult kick. 29 - 22 79 mins.
The restart was gathered and one phase later Walden kicked the ball dead to take a memorable win that moves them back into 4th place in the league.
A great all round performance with Man of the Match going to 2nd row Ed Hepworth making his first team debut.
Next week is Cambridgeshire Cup Weekend with the first team at Cantabs and the Saxons playing at Cottenham Renegades in the Semi Finals of their respective competitions.
Both games kick off at 2.30pm and all support would be much appreciated.
We are always on the look out for new players to play either in the first team in London 2NE or the Saxons (2nd team) in Eastern Counties 1West, if you are interested in joining our friendly club please contact either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org