North Walsham boosted by reinforcements as they attempt to bounce back

North Walsham apply some pressure during a tough game at Eton Manor on Saturday which saw them slide

North Walsham apply some pressure during a tough game at Eton Manor on Saturday which saw them slide to a 41-21 defeat. Turn inside for a report. Picture: Hywel Jones - Credit: Archant

Disappointing though the result was at Eton Manor last week it was no surprise that North Walsham struggled with a much changed squad.

Some, if not all, of the players who were unavailable for the 41-21 defeat should be back in contention for tomorrow's trip to Saffron Walden, when the Vikings will be determined to bounce back.

The return of Tom Browes and possibly that of Tim Weber will increase competition for the front row and Todd Scotland will come back into contention and is likely to play alongside Ryan Oakes in the second row. That will give coach James Brooks the decision of who from Matty Norfolk-Clarke, Ed Sampson and Tom Knights is destined for a slot on the bench or a game for the Raiders.

In the back line James Knight, hopefully clear of work commitments, and outside half/full back Ben O'Hickey, if cleared by the medics to resume playing, having spent time out after a concussion, could both return to the squad.

Saffron Walden, who lost 68-0 at Scottow back in September, are having a tough season and have just two wins and a draw to their credit. They sit third from bottom, seemingly rooted in the relegation zone with a 10-point gap to Diss above them. Last week they suffered a 101-0 defeat at Old Priorians.

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North Walsham (from): A Downing, W Swart, T Browes, T Weber, R Oakes, R Miller, C Godwin, T Scotland, L Brown-Bates, E Sampson, W Hodgson, M Braans, L Thomson, J Knight, H Riley, D Smith, T Younie, H Downing, T Knight, L Burridge.

The Raiders, who picked up five points for their win at Gt Yarmouth-Broadland last week, will be at home to Norwich Union who ran them close in the away fixture. They should be boosted by at least a couple of the players who travelled with the Vikings to Eton Manor. Both games kick off at 2pm.

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In the same section Diss play their second home game in the space of eight days when they entertain third-placed Colchester, who won the corresponding fixture in Essex 38-14 back in September. Diss should be boosted by last week's 22-22 draw with high-flying Amersham and Chiltern which followed a sequence of three straight defeats.

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