Basingstoke 16, North Walsham 10
PUBLISHED: 00:34 08 March 2011 | UPDATED: 00:34 08 March 2011
Â©Archant Photographic 2009
North Walsham came up short in a game played in good spirit, and with full commitment, as both sides went for the win in a relegation battle.
One of the key moments came midway through the second half after the Vikings had been held up short after two drives. On the third, Lee Sandberg went for a gap and again was inches short of the line. Appleby received a yellow card for killing the ball but more importantly Sandberg picked up a nasty neck injury.
The game was delayed for 20 minutes and was moved to another pitch as Sandberg received treatment. The alternative would have been to abandon the game with the score at 13-10. When the game restarted the Vikings had to play the final 20 minutes with 14 men, having used all their substitutes. The good news after the game was that the injury to Sandberg was not as bad as first feared and he was released from hospital following a check up and was able to travel home with the players.
The Vikings were quick out of the blocks and nine minutes into the game Jamie Burroughs burst through the Basingstoke defence and was hauled down just short of the line. A minute later, following a line break by Ryan Healey, Chris Godwin powered his way over the line and Jake Harris added the conversion.
As the game approached the 20 minute mark a penalty kick to touch saw Basingstoke continue with their pick and drive play and prop forward Mikaele Waqa crossed over for the try with Ceri Cummings adding the conversion.
The Vikings were moving the ball wide at every opportunity and Barry Frost made a break down the left, only to be hauled down just short of the try line. On 32 minutes the Vikings conceded a penalty for killing the ball and Cummings added the three points. As the clock ticked down towards 40 minutes Basingstoke were penalised for offside at a ruck and Frost made the half-time score 10-10.
Basingstoke had the first opportunity to score after the break but a penalty kick by Cummings was pushed wide. The home forwards began to play their pick and drive game and after 52 minutes the Vikings conceded a penalty. Jamie Burroughs received a yellow card and Cummings added the three points.
The majority of the play during the third quarter had been in the Vikings half but a long range penalty kick to touch by Frost saw the forwards mount a concerted pick and drive towards the Basingstoke line, during which Sandberg was injured.
The game restarted with a penalty kick to touch but at the resulting line-out the Vikings were penalised for blocking and a potential opportunity to keep the pressure on was lost. As the game approached the 70 minute mark, and with the Vikings trying to break out of their own half, Harris was penalised for not releasing the ball and Cummings converted the opportunity to make the score 16-10.
The final minutes of the game saw the Vikings camped on the Basingstoke line but despite all the pressure they could not find a further score.
Disappointment was etched across the faces of the players at the final whistle and with results in other games going against them the climb up the table from their relegation position has got much steeper.