North Walsham turn on the style as Hodgson rewrites record books
- Credit: Archant
North Walsham turned in an excellent all-round display to cruise home 50-22 at Eton Manor and secure a 17th win of the season in London 1N.
Andre Dunn opened the scoring after seven minutes with his first Walsham try before two converted tries in three minutes saw them into a 21-0 lead.
First Will Swart scored after Lachlan Brown-Bates made ground from a tapped penalty and then the prop got one himself.
A Vikings' mistake enabled Garth Tucker to reduce the arrears but within five minutes it was 28-7 as James Knight went past two to score.
Two minutes after the restart Jim Riley got his first after a quick tap penalty and then Knight set off from 60 metres, with the supporting Swart touching down.
With Ryan Oakes, Dan Bird and Mat Travers supplying quick lineout ball and Coltishall Red Lion man-of-the-match Jake Duffield's box kicking and distribution outstanding, the Vikings stayed on the front foot and Riley completed his hat-trick, with both tries coming from well executed moves by the backs. Matt Hodgson converted five of the tries to overtake Henry Dewing as the club's highest points scorer.
Between Riley's tries Calvin Bradley scored for Manor before ex-Viking Rhys Davies-Horne and Luigi Martelletti went over to give the hosts a bonus point.
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Diss were beaten 55-0 at Southend Saxons in a game that illustrated the gulf between the two sides. The visitors deserved to lose but played an open brand of rugby that highlighted the youthful promise that will stand them in good stead for the seasons ahead.
The front row of Tim Groom, Matt Richards and the improving Michael Jones dominated the set-piece, while John Bergin, George Easton and Nick Garnham all carried with vigour, but all too often a lack of ball retention allowed the Saxons to counter-attack.
Warren Wilby was outstanding in both attack and defence, halting numerous thrusts while leading attacking opportunities. At no stage did the Diss heads drop, with only three tries coming in the second half.
Norwich went down 33-12 at lowly South Woodham Ferrers after turning in an abject performance which was unrepresentative of their season so far.
The hosts moved 8-0 ahead before Chris Parrott hoisted a high ball and followed it up well for a try converted by Mike Lawton. SWF then scored three unconverted tries to make it 23-7 at the interval and although Norwich had by far the majority of possession and territory in the second half they could not make it count.
It was the hosts who added to their tally with a penalty and a converted try before Norwich got a consolation from Lawton in the right corner.
Southwold let a 17-5 lead slip through their grasp as they went down 31-22 at Wanstead in a mid-table clash. Jonah Cunningham (2) and Cemil Duruk scored the early tries, with Charles Buckley adding a conversion, before the hosts took control in the second half, with Chippy Middleditch's try only a consolation.
Wymondham moved back to the top of the table when they beat morning leaders Ely 22-15 at Barnard Fields.
Tries from scrum-half Charlie Delaney and winger Ben Edwards ensured the Red and Blacks had the lead at the break, only for Ely to come back strongly in the second and get their noses in front. A fine score from prop Luke Beales then calmed the home nerves before a last-minute penalty from Delaney finally allowed the home crowd to relax.
Third placed Holt, who had beaten Wymondham the previous week, went down 25-18 at fourth placed West Norfolk.
Holt were soon 10 points ahead through a Bruce van Poortvliet try converted from the touch-line by James Wyatt who then added a penalty. West then defended well and Sam Moses darted over for a try and his conversion made it 7-10 at the break.
West had the better of the second half and surged ahead with a couple of penalties and a try from Moses and a try from Jacob Chapman, converted by Moses. In response Wyatt converted a penalty and Henry Flower touched down just before the final whistle.
Fakenham recorded an impressive 66-26 win over Thurston, after being just 26-21 up at the break. Murray Tindal scored four tries and new skipper Jordan Walker two while Josh Gee, Rory Singleton, Adam Lingwood and Lloyd Marshall also touched down.
Thetford made it back-to-back wins by beating Ipswich YM 43-19.
Beccles moved to the top of the Shield table with an emphatic 47-15 win over morning leaders Hadleigh while Norwich Union went down 22-14 at Newmarket, with Michael Shucksmith and Matt Spenceley getting the tries.
In the Plate North Walsham Vikings cruised home 76-5 against Ipswich II at Scottow (Will Minchin 3, Harry Dye 2, Alex Houghton 2, Tom Younie, Sivo Jokini, Roydon Miller, Liam Clarke, Jake Callender).