London One North: Frustrated North Walsham return to home turf against lowly Old Haberdashers

Aki Downing could be in action for the Vikings. Picture: Hywel Jones.

Aki Downing could be in action for the Vikings. Picture: Hywel Jones. - Credit: Hywel Jones

Following a frustrating and costly day last weekend North Walsham return to home turf tomorrow.

Ahead of last Saturday's scheduled fixture at Brentwood there was an inspection by a referee at 5.30pm on Friday and a second at 7.30am on match day and on both occasions the pitch was deemed fit to play.

However when the Walsham players and supporters arrived there was standing water and mud and the referee decided it was unplayable. The upshot is that the game is now rescheduled for Saturday week with the possibility that if the pitch is again unplayable and another ground nearby cannot be found it will be transferred to Scottow.

Back to tomorrow, there will be a first visit to Scottow by Hertfordshire-based Old Haberdashers. The way their season has panned out it will be the last visit for some time as they have had a disastrous season, winning just two and drawing one of their 18 fixtures. To add to their problems they have had five points deducted, a situation which leaves them rock bottom with eight points.

In the away game the Vikings won 15-3 with a somewhat unconvincing performance but it was at a time when they were coming back from their shaky start to the season and although the composition of the side will be pretty much the same it is a much more 'together' squad than it was back in November.

Last week coach Nick Greenhall had a slightly less than full strength side but some absentees should be available this week. Blindside flanker Mike Rouse has had a week to rest a sore back but might be given another week off, as might prop/flanker Callum Cashman. Props Aki Downing, Tom Browes, and wing Will Quinn are all available but Greenhall could consider giving Downing a full 80 minutes with the Raiders and bring Dan Laddiman onto the bench.

Having considered various options including moving the game to another pitch the decision has been made that it will be played as usual on the main pitch under lights and with a normal 3pm kick-off.

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