Dorking 29, North Walsham 24

North Walsham gained two bonus points from this narrow defeat as they scored four tries and pressedright to the final whistle against the league leaders.

But for a lack of concentration at the beginning of the second half, when both the young Dorking props scored tries, this could have been a famous victory.

The Vikings are now showing that with the right mental approach they can play tight, loose and in any way needed to suit match conditions.

Dorking outside half Mat Noble opened the scoring with a fourth minute penalty and four minutes later left wing Gary Johnston scored a try in the corner following a reset scrum near the line. Noble added the conversion to bring the score to 10-0.

The Viking scrum remained under pressure in the first quarter, omens not looking good when the front row stood up. However, although conceding weight to the opposition forwards, experience began to tell, and things settled thereafter.


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Following an accurate line kick by Jake Harris, playing at number 10 for Walsham, Chris Kent went over from the ensuing line-out for an excellent try, converted by Harris, taking the score to 10-7.

The Vikings wing forwards Gerard Hegarty and Tom Coller were again prominent in a full team performance, with Walsham No 8 Mike Henry going over the try line, but the ball adjudged to have been held up.

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John Pymm came on for Dom Roberts at 35 minutes, following an ankle injury, and did the job asked of him at tight head.

Dorking captain and No 8 Armand Roux scored a try four minutes later, Noble missing the conversion, bringing the score to 15-7 at half-time.

The second half opened with a probing run from Adie Ball, coming into the line from full back for the Vikings, followed soon after by a catch and drive to the line for a try by Mark McCall. Harris was unable to convert.

At 56 minutes Dorking No 3 Greg Bateman steamed clean through four or five tackles in the centre to run 50 metres for a spectacular try, Noble adding the conversion.

Four minutes later, Dorking loose head prop Tom Bristow touched down under the posts, Noble converting to bring the tally to 29-12.

Into the final quarter and Walsham man of the match Ball scored a brilliant solo try, ghosting in from the right from 20 metres, Harris converting to make it 29-19.

Eight minutes from time, Barry Frost, playing at outside centre, crossed the line to the right of the posts, but Harris was unable to add the conversion to leave the visitors five points in arrears.

Dorking No 10 Noble missed a consolidating penalty towards the end, with the Walsham pack by now disrupting the opposition scrum, as the hosts saw out the game.

Walsham remain some points short of mid-table safety, but with a game in hand and weather postponed fixtures ahead, the mood remains optimistic.

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