Rugby round-up: North Walsham recover from poor start to seal emphatic away win
PUBLISHED: 08:25 11 March 2019
North Walsham recovered from the shock of conceding two tries in the opening 16 minutes to record an impressive 43-17 win at Old Haberdashers.
The Vikings didn’t concede another point after their poor start and ran in six tries to get back to winning ways in London 1N after their heroic 24-23 defeat against leaders Rochford Hundred the previous week.
Haberdashers scored in the first minute with a try from centre Joshua Downie, converted by Conor Michaels who then struck a penalty before adding to wing Charles Johnson’s touchdown.
With three players out through injury, and others on the field recovering from illness, Walsham were missing tackles and gave away 13 penalties in the first period.
The visitors slowly improved at the scrum and on the half hour several pairs of hands saw Dan Smith over the line for Matt Hodgson to convert. A long pass to Jim Riley saw a second try to make it 17-12 at the turnaround.
A frustrated head of rugby Johnny Marsters spoke some stern words at half-time and his confidence that his side’s character would come through, and that they were too good to lose, was to prove correct.
Centre Andre Dunn collected try number three and Lock Matt Travers, playing his last game in green and black, was over next, followed soon after by hooker Tom Browes, Hodgson converting all three. In the final quarter Hodgson struck a long range penalty and Joe Milligan intercepted a pass to sprint away under the posts for Hodgson to add the extras.
Down at the bottom Diss lost 59-5 at Fullerians, succumbing to a forward onslaught after standing firm for the first 25 minutes.
The pressure eventually told, with the Watford side scoring four tries before the break as John Laurie and John Bergin strove manfully to establish a foothold in the game. The second half proved just as difficult although Diss did have a brief period deep in the Fullerians’ half and wave after wave of forward thrusts eventually allowed Ben Jones to dive over to give his side some just reward for their efforts on a day when the youngsters gained more experience of playing at this level.
Norwich’s rollercoaster season continued as they went down 29-22 at Saffron Walden.
They led until the last 15 minutes but lacked the control, game management or, in stark contrast to last week, defensive capabilities to secure the win.
With a gale blowing straight down the pitch, Norwich were asked to use it in the first half and took an early lead when a line break by Dave Micklethwaite found Adam Huggins in support.
After being pegged back to 5-5 Norwich went ahead again when Mike Lawton squeezed his way into the corner. Pip Scott then scored from a rolling maul and Lawton landed the conversion to make it 5-17.
The half-time lead looked insufficient and so it proved although after conceding a converted try Norwich stretched their lead as Conan Hoey beat two defenders wide out to touch down. That was the end of the visitors’ scoring however as Saffron Waldon scored two converted tries and a penalty to win it.
Southwold took a giant step towards securing their London 2NE status when they came away from Harlow with a excellent 20-5 win. Their tries were scored by Adam Smith, John Utting and the fit again Callum Anthony, with Luke Wade adding a conversion and a penalty. Man of the match was Dean Basson for a superb display at No 8.
It’s as you were at the top with Wymondham leading by three points from Holt and Ely after all the front-runners picked up maximum points.
Wymondham turned in an excellent display to beat Woodbridge 36-11. The back three of Wigney, Hunter and Wilson did not put a foot wrong in the first half facing a gale and this allowed Grieves (2) and Darby to score tries to give their side the advantage.
With the wind behind them tries from Wilson, Delaney, Airdrie and Bogan sealed Wymondham’s win.
A dominant performance in the scrum helped Holt to an emphatic 57-15 victory at Crusaders.
The visitors soon took charge, with a hat-trick of tries from man-of-the-match Tom Jackson and one each from Ben Reedman and Bruce van Poortvliet putting them 31-8 ahead.
In the second half Jeremy Seaman and Oli Denton both got their reward for impressive displays with tries while hooker Kyle Routley and Jackson wrapped up the win, the latter with a run from 60 metres.
Ely were made to work hard before beating Fakenham 31-21 while Thetford had one of their best results of the season, seeing off visitors West Norfolk 57-19.
Beccles’ lead in the Shield was cut to four points as they drew 31-31 at Cottenham Renegades while Hadleigh were winning 16-12 at Norwich Union. Simon Pitcher and Craig Dunbar scored Union’s tries with Lloyd Davis adding a conversion.
Union fielded three sides on Saturday, with the Firebirds winning 22-5 at Crusaders II and the Nomads going down 40-39 at Lakenham Hewett in the club’s first third team since the 1970s.
Rodney Arbon, Ryan Day, James Herrieven and Tom Whipps touched down for the Firebirds, with Adrien Marie-Francoise adding a conversion, while for the Nomads Matt Lefevre (2), Nick Gibbons, Doug Evans, Adam Fox, James Grey, Kim Crossley scored tries, two of which were converted by Chris De Main.
In the Plate North Walsham Raiders lost 32-29 at Shelford III in a pulsating game settled by an injury time touchdown, with their tries coming from Henry Hunt (2), Alex Houghton and Will Minchin. The two bonus points kept Raiders four clear at the top with a game in hand.
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