North Walsham 41 Old Priorians 0: Vikings cruise to victory after dominant display
PUBLISHED: 07:38 08 October 2018
There was little to choose between these sides last season, with North Walsham ending two places higher in the league. On Saturday, the Vikings put in a determined and disciplined performance to overwhelm their visitors and put the previous week's home defeat against high-flying Colchester behind them.
The pattern was set from the outset when Walsham probed effectively, linking the backs and forwards well until Rob King finished off a move in the fourth minute.
Despite a yellow card for Will Swart the waves of attacks continued. Donavin Dejongh, showing great handling skills in fielding a wide kick, fed Tom Browes who powered over to extend the lead, with Matt Hodgson converting.
Then a clean take from the line-out set up the evergreen Chris Godwin who was driven over to extend the lead. After a brief spell where the worsening conditions seemed to contribute to spilt passes, Walsham began to press again and with the pack disrupting the OPs’ scrum, Roydon Miller emerged to score the bonus point try.
With the first half drawing to a close, a spell of sustained pressure and patient interplay resulted in Miller crossing again, with Hodgson adding the conversion from perhaps the most challenging kick of the half to make it 29-0.
The second half began with the hosts in the ascendancy and they eventually won a scrum in the midfield and slick passing enabled Will Hodgson to slide into the right corner and add to the score. This was a fitting reward for his afternoon’s efforts in breaking up opposition possession and providing impetus to Walsham attacks. Brother Matt added his final conversion of the day.
The rest of the half demonstrated that the visitors were worthy opponents as they defended resolutely whilst showing some good attacking skills. However, they found the Walsham wall was well manned and rarely looked likely to breach the home defences. Late on, another well worked Walsham attack concluded with debutant Joe Milligan adding a try.
It was an excellent afternoon for Walsham which means they can travel to Luton on October 20 for their next match in good heart. Alan Hepburn named Jake Duffield as man of the match for his excellent all-round performance which included a high tackle count and effective contributions in attack.
North Walsham Raiders lost their unbeaten record while visitors Beccles retained theirs with a 25-7 win at Scottow which extended their lead at the top.
The Raiders took the lead with a well executed try by Henry Hunt who added the conversion.
But in the space of 15 minutes the hosts lost three key players, skipper George Rossi, lock Nathan Bensley and Hunt, all with ankle injuries which disrupted the pattern of play.
Beccles took the lead early in the second half and although the Raiders pressed hard they were unable to turn possession into points. while two further tries wrapped up a well deserved win for the visitors. Chris Holtzer scored two of the Beccles tries while John Pitts also touched down.
Norwich Union are now just one point behind the Raiders in third after beating Wymondham II 29-5. Ben Bond-Webster, Callum Slaughter, Matt Spenceley and Tom Whipps scored the tries while Jay O’Brien knocked over a penalty and two conversions and Adrien Marie-Francoise one conversion.