Cup show of power as Vikings triumph

North Walsham Vikings booked their place in the Woodforde's Norfolk Senior Cup final with an 18-5 win over Norwich under the Scottow floodlights.Their opponents will be West Norfolk or Diss, who meet tomorrow.

North Walsham Vikings booked their place in the Woodforde's Norfolk Senior Cup final with an 18-5 win over Norwich under the Scottow floodlights.

Their opponents will be West Norfolk or Diss, who meet tomorrow.

It was a sign of Walsham's genuine strength in depth that their second string overcame a near full-strength Norwich side.

Norwich missed a penalty before Walsham went ahead from a penalty, slotted home by Jonny Wyatt from 38 metres.


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The score galvanised Norwich and a full eight-man drive resulted in a push-over try, with Matt Punter the scorer. Iain Young's kick slipped past the uprights.

Now it was Walsham's turn to show their mettle. The forwards began to play as a unit and the benefits of training twice a week with the first team were clearly evident.

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Wyatt kicked a penalty for Walsham before the break - and added a try after it.

The final score came when hooker Mark McCall, who had a storming game, was driven over. Wyatts converted.

Walsham's first team face their third meeting of the season with Westcombe Park tomorrow, when they travel to Kent for a National League Division Three match.

Walsham are currently second in the table, a point behind Cambridge, while Westcombe Park are ninth.

Their previous meetings were both at Scottow, where Walsham won 43-17 in the league, but were then restricted to an 18-17 victory in a close encounter Powergen Cup clash.

Despite the stop-start nature of last week's game against Cinderford, which they won 27-15, Walsham director of rugby Jon Curry was pleased with the commitment.

Unless there were injuries not apparent at the end of the game, he is likely to keep changes to a minimum.

With Brad Nichol heading north to take up a Rugby League contract, Curry was delighted to welcome back from injury Andy Steele at outside half. He probably needed the game and will be sharper for it.

Lee Sanderg had just his third outing at senior level standing in for the injured Arthur Delport, but may have to stand down if the latter's Achilles problem is cured.

Jacques Potgitier, unable to train last week due to work commitments, was not in the starting line-up, having to make do with 15 minutes at the end of the game, and could be in for a recall tomorrow.

With both Tom Holt and Chris Godwin recovering suffering from injuries, Curry called young Grant Pointer into the side and he did enough to warrant his inclusion again this week.

First-team commitments mean that Curry rarely gets a chance to see the Vikings in action, so Wednesday night's game against Norwich was a golden opportunity to cast an eye over those players likely to be in contention for senior places.

There were some good performances to catch the eye, and among several who did just that were hooker Mark McCall, and backs Jonny Wyatt, Fedde Lingsma, Will Farrer and Ed Maule.

All looked capable of stepping up when the call comes, as it surely will.

The Vikings' preparation for the Norfolk Cup game included a good, hard meeting with Glamorgan Wanderers last week, which ended in a narrow defeat, but they will be hoping to build on Wednesday's success when they entertain Richmond II tomorrow.

The Warriors, who also reported on a good outing at Colchester last week, return to Scottow to play Holt II.

t Norwich will have their sights set higher when they play London Nigerian in Powergen London Two North tomorrow at Beeston Hyrne. A win would move them up a place to fourth in the table, and keep alive their slim hopes of a play-off place. Norwich, through, will be without leading try scorer Iain Young, while Richard Woollam is very doubtful, both having been injured in the midweek Norfolk Cup semi-final.

The Lions have a friendly at Wymondham, where their line-up includes two exchange students, who are spending a year working at Norwich School.

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