SWFRUFC Vs Saffron Waldon
Woodham go down to fellow strugglers
South Woodham RFC suffered a 28 to 19 point defeat to fellow strugglers Saffron Walden this weekend in a game played for pride as much as anything else. Both teams came together firmly rooted in the bottom three and although it’s mathematical possible for both to escape relegation, in reality both will have to beat team that are far above them and rely on the middle of the table teams to score no more points. Thus it was a game more about pride than anything else and it produced a game with plenty of endeavour if lacking some of the skill one might expect in London 1 North.
The home side started well and were on top for the first 15 minutes with the scrum working well and some bright attacking moves. The home crowd may have thought this was going to be Woodhams day until a suicidal pass went straight into the hands of the opposition backs who promptly ran in an easy try.
Woodham hit back when Sevi Hurrell smashed through the Saffron Walden defence to be cut down short of the try line. Fortunately the Woodham forwards were on it like a flash and Liam Searles finished the chance off with a fine try, converted by Adam Brown.
Walden were to score twice more from chances given to them when Woodham could have broken clear themselves. The first was a score from a charged down clearance kick and the second more cruelly from a spilled Woodham ball when they were on the attack and threatening to break the Walden line.
The home side were to finish the scoring in the first half when Adam Brown took a quick penalty to score after a strong Woodham attack. The half ended with score delicately poised at 21 to 12 in favour of the visitors.
Just as in many of this seasons games, Woodham were dominant in the first part of the second period with many attacks falling just shy of the try line. Some fine running from Joey Dukelow, linking well with skipper Warren Duggan could have seen the home side score and the Woodham pack were certainly in the driving seat. Unfortunately that final cutting edge was to elude them and twice they crossed the whitewash only to have the ball adjudged to have been held up.
Much against the run of play and perhaps because Woodham were too intent on forcing play, Saffron Walden were able to score a breakaway try from deep in their own half effectively killing off the chance of the home side coming away with a win.
For the last ten minutes Woodham were back on the attack and were finally rewarded with a penalty try; a just reward for the forwards who had the upper hand for most of the game.
It looks certain that Woodham will return to London 2 next season but on the bright side there will be much to build on. They have never looked completely out classed in the higher division and have competed well despite an ever growing injury list (adding Sammy Sharp to that list this week) . The forwards have put bodies on the line in every game and should be proud of their efforts. The backs have looked good when given the opportunity to run at the opposition although it has been difficult to play with a consistent set of players for more than a couple of games. Perhaps the team has been a little naive in attack and maybe kicked away too much possession but they always play with heart and are certainly more of a “team” than many of the side they have come up against this year.