Hopes of a return to the National League are growing again for North Walsham, after re-establishing themselves as a force in London One North this season.

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All smiles as North Walsham Rugby Club's Stuart Loose receives the Woodforde's Norfolk Senior Cup from Dennis Nudd of the sponsors after beating Diss 48-3 at Scottow. Picture: Hywel JonesAll smiles as North Walsham Rugby Club's Stuart Loose receives the Woodforde's Norfolk Senior Cup from Dennis Nudd of the sponsors after beating Diss 48-3 at Scottow. Picture: Hywel Jones

The Vikings were relegated from National Three London & South East in 2011 and then dropped straight through London One the following season.

The rebuilding process was then stepped up and a new generation was thrust into the limelight at Scottow, powering to the London 2NE title last year after winning 19 of their 22 games.

The return to London One North was initially looking shaky this season, after losing four of their opening six matches, with all four loss coming away from home.

But a run of five successive victories saw Walsham find their feet and they eventually finished seventh in the table, having won all but one of their home matches.

Action from the Woodforde's Norfolk Senior Cup final between North Walsham and Diss at Scottow. Picture: Hywel JonesAction from the Woodforde's Norfolk Senior Cup final between North Walsham and Diss at Scottow. Picture: Hywel Jones

That improvement was capped by reclaiming the Woodforde’s Norfolk Senior Cup from rivals Diss on Sunday, winning 48-3 at Scottow, after Diss had claimed the crown in both 2012 and 2013.

Five tries from outside-centre Rhys Davies-Horne were added to by one apiece from wingers Wayne Williams and Shane van Vuuren, as well as one from full-back James Knight.

With Diss slipping to relegation from London One North this season, it leaves Walsham as the county’s senior club, but head coach Nick Greenhall is not getting ahead of himself just yet.

“A couple of seasons ago we were in a pretty poor state,” Greenhall said. “We’d lost practically a whole team so we had to rebuild, and I’ll tell you, the rebuilding over a couple of years has been so strong and the players have set a lovely culture that we can compete in and train well in.

Action from the Woodforde's Norfolk Senior Cup final between North Walsham and Diss at Scottow. Picture: Hywel JonesAction from the Woodforde's Norfolk Senior Cup final between North Walsham and Diss at Scottow. Picture: Hywel Jones

“So at this moment in time we are in a healthy place and if we can maintain that and grow on it then perhaps that National League isn’t out of the question and we can get up there, but we will need support, through some more players coming in I would have thought.”

Greenhall knows the Walsham squad will have to continue to evolve if they are to push for promotion though, continuing: “We’re fairly sure that most of our guys will be around for next season and that leaves us with some strength to start.

“We’d like to pick a couple of players up in the off-season and we really would like to try and have a go at the National Leagues so our ambition at the end of the day is to try and move one more league up and I think we’d be perfectly happy with that for this area of Norfolk.

“So if we can get one more league up with the support of the county then we’ll be very happy and play kind of performance rugby here and try and do it well.”

Follow David Freezer on Twitter @davefreezer

Related links

North Walsham dominate Diss to claim Norfolk Senior Cup glory

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