Finally some good weather, some sunshine and with only a strong breeze to contend with. Even though the playing surface was a little boggy in places it was so much better than at any time since the New Year.
With this being the replay of last weeks postponed fixture both sides had to make several changes and at times this showed but also created a tense encounter as both teams needed to win.
Walden kicked off with the breeze in their favour although it was blowing more across the ground than down it so it wasn't the game changer as it had been in the previous few games.
Back at flyhalf for this game Mark Kimberley opened the scoring as Walden worked the ball up into the visitors half with some strong carries, he then found himself on the right wing as he looped round and 20 metres out chipped the ball forward and out paced the defence to score in the corner. 5 – 0 after 7 mins.
Walden seemed to have the better of the next few minutes but Holt then created a try as they found an overlap wide out to level the scores at five a piece.
With the scrum and line out working well Walden got the ball deep inside the Holts 22 on the half hour mark, after several drives close to the try line the ball was fed out to centre Jon Goodin to score Walden’s second. Kimberley converted to put Walden 7 points in front 12 – 5. It stayed that way until half time.
Walden would have hoped that they would be next on the score board to pull away but a couple of good runs by both backs and forwards were not finished off and it was Holt who scored next when they took advantage of some ill discipline from Walden as they first gave a penalty away then got marched back 10 metres. Holt reacted quickly to the Referees mark and went over almost unopposed to level the scores.
Some of the Walden nerves were settled straight from the restart when Walden forced Holt into giving away a kickable penalty, Kimberley stepped up to take his personal and Walden's tally up to 15.
The next 15 minutes were really tense as Walden gave a series of penalties away and the visitors camped deep inside the Walden 22. When a Yellow card was shown to Walden's influential flyhalf they could have so easily caved in but in fact it only seemed to galvanise the 14 players on the pitch and they stepped up repelling everything that Holt threw at them, a great turnover by Winger Nick Brown, soon followed by the Scrum disrupting the opposition on their own put in 5 metres out and then going on to force a penalty for Walden to clear their lines.
To their credit the 14 Walden men managed to work the ball down into Holts 22, when the visitors strayed offside in front of the posts it was scrum half and Man of the Match Paul Marshall who took control and not only kicked the points but had the sense to use the full time allowed. 18 -12 70 mins.
Kimberly came back on and Holt never looked likely to score despite a late flurry of cards with the game almost over. The visitors gained a penalty which took them up to half way but Walden stole the line out, kicked the ball dead to win taking them 10 points clear of the Relegation zone with 4 games to play.
Special mention must go to Tom Groves having his first game in Green, however this was a real confidence boost to the whole squad. No game next week and they will train hard for the trip to Wymondham in a fortnights time.
If you fancy getting involved 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