North Walsham facing selection dilemmas for Barking clash
- Credit: Hywel Jones
A relatively easy game against Woodford followed by a free Saturday will mean that North Walsham should be able to go into tomorrow's game at Barking fresh and raring to go.
Barking on the other hand had to forgo a day off last week at Letchworth where they lost a tight re-arranged game 15-20, a result that dropped them one place and three points below the Vikings. Although they have lost two more games than the Vikings they have picked up 18 bonus points, more than any other side in the division.
Fixtures between the clubs go back nearly 20 seasons and in that time they have met in Eastern Counties League and Cup and also in the National Leagues, racking up in excess of 30 meetings with honours just about even.
Nick Greenhall, with injuries diminishing, could be facing some difficult decisions, particularly in the front row. Prop Tim Weber, who had been expecting a long lay-off with a shoulder injury, made a return to the bench against Woodford, Tom Browes is back after a short break and Mark McCall, who picked up a shoulder injury in the last game, will all be in contention for places, but incumbents, Aki Downing, Matt Oakes and Callum Cashman will be looking to impress in training.
Second row Tom Coller, having missed the Woodford game, was receiving physio last week and is now back in full training and ready to resume alongside Ryan Oakes.
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Having recovered from illness that prevented him playing against Woodford, Chris Godwin returns to the open side.
If the pack is pretty much as it was, the backs present Greenhall with a host of decisions, with Chris Borrett, Will Hodgson, Mike Braans and David Treglown all unavailable. Rhys Davies- Horne will probably move forward to partner Henry Dewing at half-back, Wayne Williams, equally at home in the back row or back line, could drop into the centre. Jake Colman, back from long-term injury, and Jon Younie fill the wing slots with Dan Goodrich moving to full back. The bench is still under review but could again feature one or two of the young players coming up through the ranks.
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The Raiders, who had an unexpected week off when Crusaders were unable to raise a side, play at Scottow and welcome Holt 3s in what should be an entertaining and close contest. Last week's selected side will almost certainly be the backbone of the squad for this week but much will depend on the selection of the Vikings bench. The Vikings kick off at 3pm with the Raiders starting at 2-30.