Home comforts for Curry’s giant-killers

CHRIS WISE North Walsham were yesterday handed a wonderful opportunity to reach the quarter-finals of the EDF Energy National Trophy.


North Walsham were yesterday handed a wonderful opportunity to reach the quarter-finals of the EDF Energy National Trophy.

The Vikings' reward for Saturday's victory over National League One outfit Otley is another home tie, this time against League Three South rivals Lydney on February 10.

Walsham lost 18-17 to the West Country outfit at Scottow last month, but the match could have gone either way and director of rugby Jon Curry is confident his side can gain swift revenge.

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“It's the perfect draw for us,” he said. “We have been paired with a side we have a good chance of beating and, what's more, we are at home. I am absolutely delighted.

“There's no way we will be taking Lydney lightly because they are a good side. But it's a match we can look forward to with confidence. We should really have beaten them in the league before Christmas and if we play as well as we did against Otley I'm sure we'll come out on top.”

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Curry is happy his side avoided the big guns like Leeds, Nottingham and Bedford in yesterday's fifth-round draw.

“We are going to come up against one of the big professional outfits sooner or later if we keep winning - but I would prefer that to happen later in the competition,” he said.

“We know we have got no chance of winning the cup, but after this draw we have got a chance of reaching the last eight - and then playing one of the top teams. The Lydney game is our cup final and hopefully there will be plenty of people up at Scottow next month to see if we can do it.”

Lydney are currently third in National League Three South, with 58 points from their 15 matches. Walsham are sixth, 15 points adrift.

Before Lydney's visit the Vikings have got two league games to look forward to, and Curry is demanding a pair of quality performances, starting at Chinnor on Saturday.

“The players showed what they are capable of against Otley,” he said. “I know they fielded a weakened side but it was still a tremendous performance against quality opposition. Now they have got to take that sort of display into the league games.”


Ties to be played on SaturdayFebruary 10.

t Bedford v Exeter

t Birmingham & Solihull v Nuneaton

t Bradford & Bingley or Bridgwater & Albion v Newbury

t Coventry v Nottingham

t Doncaster v London Welsh

t Leeds Tykes v Penzance & Newlyn

t North Walsham v Lydney

t Plymouth Albion v Cambridge.

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