We eventually arrived at Walden's ground after a scenic tour of the countryside due to a local diversion.
A pre-game chat with their skipper reminded me of one of the many reasons I love this sport, he was visibly gutted that he would not get to continue the battle he had enjoyed the previous week with Danny (due to Danny being injured), and passed on his (and his clubs) best wishes to our fallen warrior.
As we took to the field to warm up it was obvious the boost in numbers Walden had in last weeks cup game were not present this week, but you could see those there were ready for the battle.
Cantabs kicked off and it was clear from the start that Walden were out to prove last weeks win was no fluke. They came hard and fast but we had learnt our lessons from last week and there were no holes left for them. However a penalty given away in our 22 gave Walden the chance they needed to draw first blood. 3-0.
Cantabs regrouped and after Finlay put great depth from a penalty into their corner, our forwards worked the line out well and as they all fought and crashed their way closer and closer to Walden's line it was Jonny who found the space to muscle over the line to put us ahead.3-5.
The try seemed to relax us into playing the game out way, and it was only some great defending by them that snuffed out several great runs. Eventually however our pressure bore fruit, following a great team effort we worked the ball to their line and Finlay seemed to have scored but the Walden linesman believed the preceding pass to have been forward. From the scrum on the 5m Walden comfortably won their own ball, however Tom C was off like a whippet from the flank to charge down the 10, he then pounced on the ball before their man. 3-10.
A couple of injuries saw Cyril come on for Tim, and Josh (after 5 years in New Zealand, enjoying a bit of holiday rugby) come on for Henry.
For the most part the rest of the half was fought out in the middle of the field with neither side wavering, but a penalty given away by us within kicking range was gratefully received and saw the score at the close of the half go to 6-10.
Highlight of the half was the tackling, I do not remember a single missed one (though some may have been given a little support, thanks Thom)
A few changes at half-time to give the remaining subs their half, Dan on for Finn, Deano on for Finlay and Craig on for me (Ash took over Cpt duties).
I told Borja he was to get 10 more mins before I brought on my last man, and to make sure he earned it. He did not disappoint. Apologies to whom ever made the initial break but all I can remember is a great support run from the Spaniard who then blasted his way past the Walden defence to score his first Cantabs try. He then slotted over his 9th conversion for us. 6-17.
John boy came on for Borja as our final change. Both teams were making their pressure felt with strong running but for the most part stronger defence. But it was again Cantabs who worked themselves forward to earn the next score, it was Josh whom eventually crashed over having seen the space. 6-22.
The next try was started by a great run by Dan who took the ball just outside our 22 and got it to 10m out of their line, just before he was eventually felled by 3 of their men he off-loaded to a supporting Craig, who did his usual dance past their last man to dot down. 6-27.
The final try and final action of the game was great to watch as Deano and Josh worked in synergy passing the ball back and forth, switching several times to eventually give Deano the space to dart off and score in the corner. 6-32.
Highlights of the second half.
Deano's hit on the Walden skipper (ouch).
The Walden skipper demonstrating how his team never surrendered by chasing Deano down to the wire at the end of the game, was a great testament to the battle we all enjoyed.
MoM, as I have previously said when a team plays as well as it did this week picking the actions of one player over others is a ridiculous notion, every player to a man had a great game all put a shift in. That being said if I have to give the award to one man this week I will select Justin, who as well as having a great game managed to not verbalise his disagreements with the Sir (well worth rewarding).
DoD, a much easier decision, for managing to only turn up with a pair of boots....Me.