Holt's Richard Justice gets some close attention from North Walsham's Chris Godwin and Tom Coller.

Holt 3, North Walsham 37

Monday, December 17, 2012
5.14 PM

Top of the London 2NE table North Walsham proved too strong for local rivals Holt in the first league encounter between the clubs on Saturday.

A large crowd saw the visitors take charge from the outset, testing Holt’s defence, but honours remained even while the two sides were sizing each other up.

It was the Vikings who drew first blood, being awarded a penalty after six minutes which Henry Dewing converted to give them a 3-0 lead.

The hosts did not allow this early reverse to deter them and three minutes later, Tom Jackson was on target to level the scores at 3-3. However it was North Walsham who were beginning to dictate terms with some very slick running and passing, and Vikings full-back James Forrester put Adie Ball in for the first try in the corner.

It was not converted, but on 20 minutes, Walsham scored their second try. Chris Kent was held up short, before fellow lock Danny Berghan, called in at short notice for the ill Leon Davies, crossed the line, although again it was not converted.

Holt’s cause was not helped when they lost one of their players to the sin bin with four minutes of the half remaining. Walsham kicked to the corner and from the ensuing driving maul, increased their lead through Tom Coller’s fourth try of the season. Dewing converted to make the half-time score 20-3.

The second half started with Holt still down to 14 men for the first six minutes and they were immediately on the defensive. The Vikings then lost Berghan to the sin bin for deliberately collapsing a maul, allowing the home forwards to set up camp near the Walsham try line.

Despite the pressure, the score would not come due to stout defence and also conceding a penalty when it mattered most.

Once Walsham were back to full strength, they swept down the field to rub more salt into Holt’s wounds by scoring a converted try after 60 minutes. A Coller line-out ball reached Will Hodgson in the centre, and he broke through the middle for Ball to claim his second try of the afternoon and give Walsham a bonus point.

Walsham captain Andy Tibbatts crossed for try number five two minutes later. Dewing’s conversion looked to have drifted just wide of the right upright, but was given by referee David Miles.

In the final 10 minutes Ball popped up in the outside centre position for Shane van Vuuren to touch down, with Forrester unable to add the conversion.

Holt did their best to make inroads into their opponents’ half to try and reduce the deficit, but to no avail.

• North Walsham’s second string emulated their seniors, completing a double at High Kelling on Saturday.

They had to survive an early penalty miss but by half-time they had a 17-point lead with tries from Freddie Henley-Hunter, Rueben Berghan and Jon Younie.

They added four more tries in the second half from Ollie Dyke (2), Henley Hunter – who also kicked a couple of conversions – and Kurt Benney to seal the 46-3 win.