Four tries not enough for North Walsham
- Credit: PA
Amersham and Chiltern 40 North Walsham 26
North Walsham suffered their second away defeat of the season in London 1N to second-placed Amersham & Chiltern, who consolidated their position while the Vikings slipped one place to sixth, with a four-try bonus point their only reward.
The home side took the lead after just four minutes when they sliced through the midfield for their winger to score a converted try under the posts. A superb crossfield kick by outside half Matt Hodges was then fielded by wing Shane van Vuuren, who rounded two defenders to touch down. Hodgson converted to level the scores.
Chiltern retook the lead with a converted try by their outside half, but when they had a player carded for a tip tackle the Vikings pressure was rewarded with a penalty try. A wayward kick from Hodges put a Chiltern player into space but he recovered to nullify the threat.
Some poor tackling allowed the hosts to move seven points ahead with a converted try, further extended by a penalty for a 24-14 half-time lead.
Skipper Tom Williams sensed an opportunity with a quickly-tapped penalty to score and Hodgson again added the extras. This was the closest the Vikings got as poor discipline cost them dearly and two penalties and a penalty try put them 16 points adrift until, with time running out, they pressured the Chiltern line without success, but eventually Hodgson went over to secure the bonus point try which he failed to convert.
In the final minutes the home side added a further penalty.
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Vikings can look to the fact that they matched their hosts on tries scored, but will have to reflect on the high penalty count which proved expensive.
Meanwhile, North Walsham Raiders moved up to fifth place in EC 3 North with an emphatic 62-0 win over Crusaders II.
It was the Raiders' third successive win as the visiting Crusader struggled but never gave up on their efforts to contain a side of veterans and youngsters who ran in 10 tries, six of them converted.
Wing Ollie Dyke opened the scoring, going on to complete a double in the second half. Hooker Mark McCall and centre Jimmy Goodlikke also crossed the line twice with the other tries coming from Alfie Agnew, Laurence Randle, Bill Vurewa and Pena Sokia. Outside half Sam Rossi added the conversions.