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Rochford Hundred down to third after defeat to Saffron Walden
ROCHFORD Hundred slipped to third in the standings after suffering a 30-22 defeat at fellow high-flyers Saffron Walden.
Rochford went in front with a penalty from Tom Ashton. But Saffron Walden soon hit back with two tries to go 12-3 in front against the run of play.
Rochford continued to create chances to score but a combination of poor finishing and good defending meant they were not taken.
Walden had no such problems and soon extended their lead to 17-3 with their third try of the afternoon.
Rochford reacted positively with a try from Marcus Spremulli which Ashton converted to bring the visitors back to within seven points of their hosts.
But, just when that little extra was required to take advantage of the situation, Walden came back strongly with their fourth try of the game.
Rochford responded with Matt Stewart speeding over the line for another fine effort and the try was again converted by Ashton.
However, after that, it began to fall apart from Hundred.
Ground was conceded and Rochford found themselves in their own 20 metre area as a rejuvenated Walden side applied constant pressure.
Their stand-off took full advantage and kicked over a drop goal and then did exactly the same again shortly after when he found his team in a similar position again.
With a lead of 30-17 going in to the last few minutes it looked all over but Rochford dug deep and threw everything at their opponents.
As a result, replacement winger Laurie Cooke ran in for a late try but the conversion, which would have given Rochford a losing bonus point, was just a little too far out for even the ever reliable Ashton.