Home defeat puts pressure on for weekend
North Walsham 11, Colchester 42: Joint leaders Colchester won this game, including the bonus point, with three tries in each half. Vikings responded with a Chris Kent try, following a break by captain Andrew Tibbatts.
Walsham, playing in red shirts, seemed strangely subdued in the first period, a mood echoed among the supporters lining the perimeter.
Colchester full-back David Philip took the first touchdown after four minutes. Vikings Henry Dewing then scored a penalty, followed by two from opposition wing Damien Brambley.
Evergreen Tony Kingsmill, playing at 12 for Walsham, was in the thick of the action, taking over kicking duties from outside half Ethan Reed, who had come to the field with a heavily strapped left leg. Adie Ball looked sharp in the centre, but was well quartered by the visitors defence.
Matthew Morgan, Colchester number eight, impressed with excellent lines of running, scoring two tries, the second converted by Brambley. Prior to the latter, Chris Kent crossed the line, following the only fully flowing home move of the first half, giving a score of 8-23 at half time.
Dewing successfully converted a penalty early in the new half, following a yellow card for Colchester centre Callum Irvine.
The visitors responded with the first of a hat trick of tries for wing Jonathan Vine, who cut back inside to score under the posts, Brambley converting.
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The Walsham back row were carrying well, and the front five gained much ground from the pick and drive, yet no further home score was forthcoming.
Colchester inside centre James Denham followed his colleague to the sin bin before Chadwick Seeley replaced Ethan Reed for Walsham. Within a few minutes Seeley himself was replaced by Tim Mason, following a blood injury. Grant Furlong covered the last quarter of the match in place of Chris Hamilton.
Vine scored his second try on the hour, and, six minutes from time following good work by open side Daniel Whiteman, his third, converted by Brambley, to leave the final tally at 11-42.
Vikings need to take victory and a bonus point, next week, away to Rochford, who are at the bottom of the table without a win so far.