Friday, February 8, 2013
The prediction that last week’s opponents Aylesford would be hard to break down proved accurate and the consensus was that the Kent side were the most physically demanding that North Walsham Vikings have faced this season.
Unfortunately there has been a serious knock on effect with a growing injury list for Nick Greenhall to cope with.
The Vikings coach will have to find a new halfback partnership to play in the league game at Woodford as both Dean Blyth and Kurt Benney are out for around six weeks, Blyth with damaged shoulder ligaments and Benney with a broken hand which has required surgery.
Their places will probably be filled by Henry Dewing and returnee Jack Hoyles, who after a long lay-off, impressed with his game management for the Raiders last week. The dependable Leon Davies will probably miss the next two or three games to allow rib damage to heal and his place will almost certainly go to Danny Berghan.
Mark McCall is good to go after taking a heavy hit last week but veteran prop Stuart Loose has had a scan on a neck injury so Keith Fowles will again start at loose head. Also out for three weeks is Adie Ball who is preparing for a big triathlon, but James Knight should step in.
Wing Freddie Henley-Hunter, along with Raiders’ second row Matty Norfolk-Clarke, has an English Colleges Trial on Sunday so takes a rest with Will Quinn, who can also play scrum half, stepping up from the second team.
Opponents Woodford will have to be treated with respect. Since being beaten by 20 points at Scottow earlier in the season they have been on a seven match winning run, including a single point victory at second placed Ipswich, and according to their website have an eye on the play- off place for themselves.
North Walsham Raiders, who had a convincing win at Lakenham Hewett last week return to Scottow to host neighbours Norwich Lions who lie second in the Woodforde’s Merit Table expecting much stiffer opposition than when the sides met at Beeston Hyrne. With four of last week’s side in the first team squad they will call on one or two older players to boost the experience levels.