Norfolk rivals face tough away games

NATIONAL 3LSE: North Walsham's second away trip of the season takes them to league leaders Hertford, who have got off to an impressive start, with maximum points from their four games, a record they share with Dorking and Barnes.

Walsham have rarely done well against Hertford, winning just three times in 10 meetings, all at home. In the corresponding fixture last season they came fairly close but were unable to turn pressure into points and in the latter stages lost flanker Chris Godwin with a double fracture of his leg.

Coach Nick Greenhall will again have to make changes. Tom Williams has returned to University after three impressive appearances and his place in the back row will almost certainly go to UEA student James Elliott, who will add bulk and pace. He came on as a late replacement last week and marked his debut with the fourth try that brought the bonus point.

Behind the pack there could be a change at outside half. Warren Abrahams filled in last week but he looks more comfortable at full-back so either Barry Frost could swap places or Jonny Wyatt could step up for his first start since the 2004-05 season.

With James Elliott moving into the starting line-up there will be changes on the bench with Dom Roberts taking over from Ben Campbell, who has been called up by Bedford for a run in one of their junior sides.

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The Raiders are scheduled to travel with the Vikings to play Hertford Extra Firsts while the Warriors, who beat Wymondham II 32-5 last week, are at home against Medics.

Diss, who were well beaten at home by Hertford last week, face an equalling testing trip to play Dorking, who currently lie second in the table, equal on points to Hertford.

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The match at Dorking last year was a lottery in driving wind and rain. Diss dominated for long periods, but the carding of Tim Groom allowed the home side to run out 17-0 winners.

The Diss squad tomorrow's trip around the M25 has been hit hard by injuries and withdrawals, so it is a much changed party that will travel, including some players who will be making their debut for the firsts.

Diss will have to play well to achieve a result, but the pack matched their Hertford opponents last weekend and that area looks strong, with Fraser Hall and Steve Hipwell probably playing out in the backs again.

The Saracens' fixture against Dorking has been cancelled while the thirds are playing away at Holt. Last week, with a weakened team, they suffered a heavy loss at Beccles, so they will be looking for a stronger showing this week.

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