North Walsham 55 Woodford 0 – Memorable day for Vikings youngster

James Knight dives over for a try for North Walsham against Woodford at Scottow. Picture: Hywel Jone

James Knight dives over for a try for North Walsham against Woodford at Scottow. Picture: Hywel Jones - Credit: Archant

North Walsham made it six wins from eight by running in nine tries in an impressive display to defeat bottom placed Woodford.

The visitors, who narrowly beat the Vikingss earlier in the season, have shown better form lately with two victories in their last four games but, whilst no pushovers, they were overwhelmed from midway through the first half by the hosts' pace, power and precision. Five tries in the second quarter gave them a 29-0 half-time lead, and they maintained their grip with two more soon after the re-start.

With Tom Coller injured, head coach Nick Greenhall gave a debut in the second row to Laurence Griggs. The ex-youth player made a great start to his first team career, particularly in the lineout and defensively, and was named Chalk Hill Brewery man-of-the-match. Early in the second half Greenhall also gave opportunities off the bench to youngsters Guy Salzado and Jack Frazer.

Most play in the first 15 minutes was in the Vikings' half but the defence was solid and the line never threatened. After 18 minutes, with only their second attack, Mike Rouse gathered a Henry Dewing box kick on half way and the Vikings, with Aki Downing prominent, poured forward. Quick ball at eight breakdowns culminated in a five metre scrum and after more slick passing James Knight was over.

This heralded 20 minutes of scintillating rugby as the Vikings ran in four more tries, three from deep. Another high hanging kick from Dewing was taken by Jon Younie just inside the visitors' half and the kicker was in support to race in for a try he converted. Then Rhys Davies-Horne, whose incursions into the line from full-back were a constant threat, received the ball on halfway, accelerated through a slight gap and brushed aside two tacklers to score, Dewing converted.

Younie was the next scorer as quick hands took the ball out to the winger who scored in the corner. Three minutes later Knight grabbed his second, outpacing the defence from halfway.

The next try came straight from the second half kick-off, Will Hodgson going over following penetrating runs by Downing, Wayne Williams and Chris Borrett and David Treglown converting. Six minutes later, after a textbook move by the backs, Hodgson scored again, pirouetting over the line with the ball behind his back and Dewing converted.

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After a brief lull Downing bounded over, just reward for his consistency in crossing the gain line and passing out of the tackle, with Treglown converting. The Vikings continued to dominate and with 10 minutes left got another long range try. Dewing, now playing on the wing with Frazer at scrum-half, made a 50 metre run before passing to Treglown who eluded three defenders to score.

The win takes the Vikings up to fourth, overtaking Barking whose fixture at Letchworth was postponed.