Great win for Walsham

North Walsham 28, Canterbury 22The shoots of recovery, evident in the last two games, bore fruit with this truly heroic victory. Canterbury came to Scottow with just two defeats this season, so in achieving this win the Vikings tore up the form book with a vengeance.

North Walsham 28, Canterbury 22

The shoots of recovery, evident in the last two games, bore fruit with this truly heroic victory.

Canterbury came to Scottow with just two defeats this season, so in achieving this win the Vikings tore up the form book with a vengeance.

Their success was thoroughly deserved, with the whole side showing a commitment and level of skill which belied their league position.

After moving 28-5 ahead just after the break, they looked to be heading for a big win, only for the Kent side to show their class and storm back with three tries.

The early play gave no hint of what was to follow, with the Vikings soon behind. In the sixth minute, following sustained pressure, the visitors won their own five metre lineout and Chris Hinkins was driven over for a try.

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A Chris Dermody penalty cut the deficit and after 13 minutes the Vikings went ahead through another Dermody penalty.

Canterbury were soon back on the attack and spent five minutes camped on the Vikings' line, but the home defence was equal to the task,

Gradually they began to get more possession. Their tackling was superb and they were getting to the breakdowns quickly, enabling them to win an increasing amount of turnover ball. Playing with a growing confidence, they stretched their lead to 13-5 after 26 minutes. Following a scrum on the Canterbury 22, Dermody harried his opposite number into a mistake and then put out a long pass to Tom Holt who stormed over. Dermody converted from the touchline and 10 minutes later he added a penalty.

A shocked Canterbury sought to bring some order to proceedings. They pounded away at the line, with the Vikings successfully defending a series of line-outs and scrums for fully five minutes. It seemed that Canterbury just had to score, especially when prop Shaun Woodhouse, returning to the club after six seasons, received a yellow card. But amazingly the Vikings scored next.

They won turnover ball on their 22 and Chris Godwin, whose relentless tackling and running was a feature of the game, raced 60 metres. Canterbury were penalised, the Vikings opted to kick to touch and Godwin was driven over from the lineout. Dermody, whose controlled play was an important factor in this win, added the two points from wide out. This gave the Vikings a 23-5 half-time lead and a massive psychological boost. Three minutes earlier, with Canterbury pressing hard, a 16-12 scoreline seemed likely.Two minutes after the break it became 28-5. Dermody gathered a kick on half way and fired a pass to Rob Clymer. The ball went on to Howard who set off on another marauding run before returning to Clymer who scored in the corner.

A jubilant home crowd began to think about not only winning, but getting a bonus point too. Canterbury though were just not going to accept defeat. They upped their game dramatically with a stream of attacks and the pressure told when, with a quarter of the game left, winger Andy Pratt scored. Five minutes later, with Howard in the sin bin, the visitors cut the deficit further with a Nicky Woodbridge try.

The pressure was now relentless. Canterbury marched relentlessly, forward only to be repulsed by a determined and fearless defence. The tension increased when a Neil Meyer try, converted by Sam Rasch, meant a further converted try would deny the Vikings victory. Meyer's try came with what turned out to be 14 minutes left.

Time passed very slowly as Canterbury pounded away, but the Vikings held out for a famous victory.

North Walsham Raiders beat Canterbury II 34-13. Tries came from John Kelly, Heath Garrett, Ben Nichol, Matt Cross and newcomer Gideon Strydom.