London 1N: North Walsham pipped after throwing away big lead
- Credit: Archant
North Walsham lost at home for only the second time this season, going down to a skilful Ruislip side by four tries to two.
Once again the Vikings were well ahead until early in the second half, only to lose momentum as the visitors took control in the tight and exploited gaps out wide.
Hooker Mark McCall suffered a knee injury in the warm-up, Tom Browes moving over, as Walsham dropped out with the wind behind them.
David Treglown kicked well out of hand and was successful with two early penalties before good inter-play between Mike Braans and Ashley Speight set up James Knight for a try in the right hand corner, converted from the touchline by Treglown.
Ryan Oakes and Tom Coller supplied good lineout ball and Tim Weber was prominent in the loose as Treglown struck another penalty, to leave the half-time tally at 16-0.
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Laurence Griggs, on for the injured Speight, scored a breakaway try immediately after the break, converted by Treglown, to bring the score to a healthy 23-0.
However, Ruislip remained fleet of foot and gradually increased pressure in the tight. On 48 minutes, from a scrum on the Walsham five metre line, Ruislip No 8 and captain Johnny Fieldhouse crossed to score, converted by centre Conor Mullan.
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George Youngs, cousin of Ben and Tom, having already played a substantial part of the game for the Raiders on another pitch, now replaced Weber for his first team debut as the Vikings' tight head, for the pack to take at least one strike against the head.
Knight continued to make crucial tackles in midfield as Freddie Henley-Hunter came onto the wing, to allow Shane van Vuuren to replace Dan Goodrich at scrum half.
Ruislip wing George Bryant touched down next, but Mullan was unsuccessful with the kick. Pressure continued on the Walsham line, before full back Antonio Trofa sprinted through a huge gap on the Vikings' right flank to score, converted by Mullan.
Six minutes later, from a lineout 10 metres from the home goal line, a take and drive put centre Joe Collins over for the unconverted fourth try and a one point lead.
The remaining eight minutes proved inconclusive, with Walsham taking a losing bonus point at the final whistle.
Vikings' captain Mike Rouse was the Chalk Hill Brewery man of the match.
The Raiders won another tightly contested game, beating Ruislip II 22-20 with tries from Jon Younie, Guy Salzedo, Nat Roberts and Nathan Smith. Younie added one conversion.