London 1N: North Walsham travel with hope for tough match at Amersham and Chiltern
- Credit: Hywel Jones
North Walsham break new ground when they travel to play Amersham and Chiltern for the first time in their history.
The Buckinghamshire-based club had a meteoric rise between 2009 and 2011, gaining promotion in three successive seasons to arrive in National Three South West for the 2011-12 season.
A transfer across to National Three London South East saw them settled at level five until the end of last season when they failed to survive a dogfight in the relegation zone and dropped down a level along with Tring and CS Rugby 1863.
Just how competitive it was at the higher level can be judged by the fact that all three are well placed in the top half dozen of London One North, with Amersham currently in second place.
Although this places them three spots above the Vikings the sides have identical win/loss records and are separated only by bonus points.
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Twelve months ago, with their dismal away record, it would have been unthinkable that the Vikings would come home with a win but this season's squad seem to have an entirely new mindset and must travel believing in their ability.
The only obvious injury in last week's 29-0 home win over Chingford was an ankle problem for hooker Tom Browes, who came off to have it strapped and rejoined for the second half showing few ill effects, and he should be able to take his place in the squad. With Matt Oakes unavailable, although he would probably have needed another week to rest his shoulder, either Browes or Tim Weber will take over hooking duties but with either able to prop or hook it could come down to a late decision.
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Having missed the Chingford game with a painful heel Jono Lawson will be itching to get back into action and should be certain of at least a spot on the bench. With Guy Salzedo unavailable, Ryan Oakes could move up to second row with Wayne Williams who filled the No12 shirt last week until the arrival for the second half of Will Hodges going to the blind side.
The Raiders take on Crusaders seconds at Scottow. With prop Seb Roberts waiting for medical clearance on a hand injury and his brother Dom unavailable, the squad will be boosted by the return to action of both Stuart Loose and Mark McCall to the front row.