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North Walsham bid to maintain fine home record with win against Ipswich

10:04 19 December 2014

North Walsham skipper Mike Rouse is available for the visit of Ipswich to Scottow. Picture: Hywel Jones

North Walsham skipper Mike Rouse is available for the visit of Ipswich to Scottow. Picture: Hywel Jones

Hywel Jones

North Walsham will be looking to end the year, and start the second half of the season, with a win over Ipswich at Scottow tomorrow.

Home games have been key to the Vikings’ season so far as, with the exception of leaders Colchester, all other visiting teams have gone home defeated.

It has been a very different story away from home, with one draw and five defeats in six matches, so Walsham will want to make the most of their home advantage at the weekend.

Surprisingly, despite their geographical proximity, fixtures between the two sides have been rare, with only 11 meetings – and of those only five have been at league level. Walsham were successful on every occasion except on their trip across the county border in September when, having spurned several clear scoring chances, they came home with a couple of points from a 19-19 draw.

Having travelled last week with a below strength side Nick Greenhall’s problems should have eased somewhat, with recovery from injury and fewer work commitments being major factors.

Stuart Loose and Mark McCall, Tom Coller, Ashley Speight and skipper Mike Rouse are all available to boost the pack and bring it closer to full strength. The Henry Dewing, Chris Borrett half-back pairing should be reinstated with Rhys Davies-Horne moving to the centre, replacing Will Hodgson who has rejoined his family for the holidays, to partner James Knight.

Pieter Claussen, who has impressed since his return to Norfolk, could regain a place on one wing, with the lively Wayne Williams on the other. After a break of several weeks David Treglown is likely to take over at full-back with Dan Goodrich likely to drop to the bench where he could be joined by Matty Norfolk-Clarke. Kick-off is 3pm.

The Raiders, who were disappointed at the inability of Dereham to get enough players to travel last week,will return to league action against Wymondham II, who having been beaten in the away game 43-0, have won all bar one of their other games and will provide much sterner opposition this time around. Gap year student David Nell has returned home to South Africa but Ted Morgan, who has missed the last few games with a broken nose, is fit again. Kick-off will be 2pm.

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