North Walsham have point to prove as they head to Eton Manor
PUBLISHED: 13:41 07 December 2017 | UPDATED: 13:41 07 December 2017
After their disappointing performance and result at Scottow last week, North Walsham will have to regroup quickly to get back on track.
The 17-14 defeat by Old Priorians did not affect the league position, but it did mean that the gap between the Vikings and the teams above them stretched to five points.
Coach James Brooks will no doubt have gone through the match video in detail and had a de-brief with the senior members of the squad in preparation for tomorrow’s trip to Eton Manor, a side who sit two places and three points behind them.
The East London side are normally hard to beat on their own patch and indeed in four visits the Vikings have returned with the win on only one occasion. Manor’s form this season has been patchy, however, and the past two weekends have seen them lose to Old Priorians and Colchester so they will also be determined to get back to winning ways.
Two former Walsham players, Rhys Davies-Horne – the son of the Walsham president Dave Horne – and Matt Oakes – brother of the Walsham skipper Ryan – are both regular fixtures in the Manor side. That said it is unlikely that the Oakes brothers will be in opposition as Ryan has work commitments which means that the second row will remain, conditional on Todd Scotland passing the physio. If he fails then there could be a return for Matty Norfolk-Clarke. In the front row there will be a change with Tom Browes away so Acky Downing will move to tight head.
In the back line James Knight will miss out, also with work commitments, so Brooks will have to juggle to get the right balance and there could be a chance for one of the youngsters from the Raiders to have a taste of life on the Vikings’ bench.
The Raiders return to league action with a visit to Great Yarmouth-Broadland and the Warriors host Fakenham II.
Diss will be looking for their first win in seven matches when they welcome third-placed Amersham and Chiltern to Mackenders. Despite scoring a more than respectable 172 points since winning 43-27 at Old Priorians on October 7, Diss have lost five and drawn one to slip to 10th in the table, albeit still 12 points clear of the bottom two.