LONDON 1N: Colchester 44, North Walsham 0

North Walsham were well beaten by promotion chasing Colchester, who kept possession and ran in six unanswered tries, on a perfect pitch.

The Vikings remain only just above the relegation zone, while Colchester lie second in play-off position.

Chris Kent made an early break up the right flank for the Vikings, and James Forrester kicked accurately for field position, before Colchester No 6 Carl Jeffs got the first try, the conversion rebounding off the right upright.

Damien Brambley was again the dynamo in the Colchester back line, often popping up in the centre along with his fellow wing, full back and the home back row.

Brambley struck a successful penalty after 26 minutes and a few moments later, when Henry Dewing was unable to control an awkwardly bouncing kick ahead, home centre Chris Withers touched down but Brambley missed the conversion. This left a score of 13-0 at the break.

Either side of half-time, Walsham, were rather harsly given two yellow cards, adding to the unenviable record of being the worst offenders in the league with 12 yellows and one red card so far this season.

Some Colchester supporters felt that their side was 'a bit manic' in the first half, and needed to calm down and take control, which they duly did in the second period.

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Brambley got an early second penalty, but missed one a few minutes later.

Viking scrum-half Ollie Hardisty led a breakout, and Dewing repositioned himself on the right wing, but what little possession Walsham gained was either shut down by the home back row, or again too often, kicked away downfield, only to be run back with interest.

Brett Cutbush came on at scrum half for Colchesterand within three minutes had scored, Brambley converting.

Will Craggs replaced concussed Walsham centre James Crossley, before Colchester open side Dan Whiteman crossed the line, supplemented by an excellent conversion from the left touchline by Withers.

Colchester were now crossing the gain line at every move despite valiant defence from Andy Tibbatts and Shane van Vuuren. Home full back James Crozier took the next try, converted by Withers. Centre Calum Irvine appeared to have scored a minute later, but this was attributed to Cutbush, Withers adding the extras.

The final 10 minutes were played out at a canter by the home backs, with resolute Viking defence preventing any further scores.

Next Saturday sees another vital encounter, at home against Rochford Hundred, who are currently two points below North Walsham.

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