OLD WALCOUNTIANS once again paid the price for allowing their opponents to run up a big lead in the first half, leaving it too late for a comeback.
Walcountians were weakened by the loss of injured flanker Remy Claustres, who will miss the rest of the season.
Their opponents, who stand mid-table after a poor start, looked ominously effective from the start. They dominated possession and drove Walcountians back towards their own line, supported by an impressive backline who gained territory through incisive tactical kicking.
Freemen's took the lead after just five minutes when their Fijian No 8 broke from a five-metre scrum and pounded his way through to touch down for a converted try.
Walcountians fought back and it took staunch defending from Freemen's to keep out centre Sam Naylor, who was Walcountians' most effective weapon. But too frequently their moves broke down through misplaced or dropped passes.
Twenty minutes into the game, Freemen's extended their lead when their No 8 scored his second try of the day.
Freemen's added a penalty and two more tries before the break; the first after a lock popped up on the wing to take a pass and touch down, the second from their blind-side flanker who took a Walcountians lineout throw intended for the back of the line.
By half-time, the game was effectively over, with Freemen's holding a 31-point lead.
Walcountians were a different side in the second half. The forwards took the Freemen's pack head on and relentlessly monopolised possession. Only solid Freemen's tackling kept Walcountians at bay until the 12th minute, when scrum-half Will Diamond took a quick tap penalty and fed full-back Chris Drinkwater to touch down.
Failure to secure their own lineout ball proved costly for Walcountians as it gave Freemen's their fifth try, but that proved the final flourish from the hosts. Walcountians dominated the remainder.
Mercurial fly-half Tom Diamond scored his seventh try of the season after streaking past a stunned Freemen's defence, and in the final minute they were awarded a penalty try after a panicking defence tried to kick the ball out of a ruck.
Walcountians now have three games left to preserve their Surrey One status. The first takes place tomorrow when they take on fellow strugglers Cranleigh at Clock House. Kick-off is at 3pm.