Long wait for away win is finally over for North Walsham

Shane van Vuuren goes over for the only try of the game for North Walsham at Luton. Picture: Hywel J

Shane van Vuuren goes over for the only try of the game for North Walsham at Luton. Picture: Hywel Jones - Credit: Archant

It was celebration time for North Walsham on Saturday as they won their their first away game in more than 13 months.

Nick Greenhall had worked with two or three players to keep them focussed throughout the game, and having fielded a strong side, saw no reason why the Vikings should not win. His team had obviously decided that this would be the day and the whole squad played with a new urgency and worked hard in defence throughout a soggy afternoon.

Walsham were offside within two minutes and Rick Hobbs put Luton 3-0 up from in front of the posts.

Vikings captain Mike Rouse hit back with a touchdown from a Matty Norfolk-Clarke pass, but was penalised for a knock-on. Rouse touched down again following the five-metre scrum, but this was also not given.

Walsham pushed the home pack off the ball at the next three set-pieces before Henry Dewing brought the sides level with a penalty from 25 metres. Neumi Rokodinono replaced Callum Cashman at tight-head before Chalk Hill Brewery man-of-the-match Dewing struck his second successful penalty.

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David Treglown came on at outside half, allowing Chris Borrett to drop to full-back as Luton kept up waves of attack. Home centre Teshurn Edwards had two lightning breaks to within five metres of the Walsham line, but the defence was solid, allowing the visitors to go in in front 3-6 at the break.

The second half was five minutes old when Shane van Vuuren scooted 50 metres up the left touchline for what would be the only try of the game. Dewing's conversion was short.

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After a tough shift, Walsham No8 Sam Rhodes went off injured for Cashman to come back on and play splendidly from the back row.

Luton continued to attack, with Vikings lock Ryan Oakes in the thick of the action, and Dewing relieving pressure with deft box kicks. On 69 minutes the home forwards were held up over the line, with Walsham taking the ensuing five-metre scrum against the head. The visitors kept to their kick and chase game plan, and there were celebratory smiles all round at the final whistle.

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