North Walsham back in action after enforced break
- Credit: Hywel Jones
North Walsham's break from league action last week should have been filled by a Norfolk Cup game at Beccles but the Suffolk club were unable to raise a side and so conceded the fixture.
The draw for the semi-finals has thrown up a local North Norfolk derby with Holt, who beat West Norfolk, due to visit Scottow on Saturday March 14.
Despite potential selection problems due to unavailability and injuries Walsham coach Nick Greenhall would have welcomed the opportunity to give some pitch time at Beccles to some of the younger players who have been showing impressive form with the Raiders.
He will instead have to rely on a couple of training sessions to iron out some of the defensive deficiencies that cost them dear on their visit to Ruislip. Fortunately numbers at training, which had taken a bit of a dip, are now back to a far higher level.
Tomorrow's opponents at Scottow, Chingford, will pose problems as they are enjoying one of their best seasons in recent years, sitting in joint third place with Letchworth who they beat by three points two weeks ago.
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While not one of the higher scorers in the division they have a sound defensive record, conceding an average of less than 12 points a game.
Inevitably there will be changes to the squad. Hooker Mark McCall should return but prop Tim Weber is out with a recurring shoulder injury and will be replaced by Tom Browes, who returns after injury.
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Also unavailable are the Oakes brothers, Matt with an injury and Ryan with work commitments. Leon Davies and skipper Mike Rouse are also working so the reliable Ian Webster will partner Tom Coller in the second row and Sam Rhodes, who has decided to switch from the back line to the back row, will come in at No 8.
With Chris Borrett unavailable Dan Goodich and Henry Dewing will form the halfback partnership.
The Raiders, who won decisively at Diss a couple of weeks ago playing what was arguably their best rugby for a couple of seasons, return to Scottow for the first of two successive friendlies against sides from Eastern Counties Two, with Watton this week's opponents. Their game will kick off at 2pm so any spectators arriving early will have the opportunity to assess their progress.