North Walsham make their quality tell in the end to reach Norfolk Senior Cup final
PUBLISHED: 09:56 12 February 2018
North Walsham saw off the challenge of a spirited Holt side, who play their rugby two levels below them, to book their place in the Norfolk Senior Cup final.
With wet weather, a soft pitch and a strong wind blowing end to end, the game was an interesting challenge for both sides.
Holt started well and their pressure game was rewarded with a penalty after just three minutes. The ball was moved wide from the resulting lineout and Tom Jackson fed a well weighted kick out wide for fullback James Wyatt to dot the ball down for the opening score. Wyatt converted to give Holt a 7-0 lead.
Walsham responded with two scores in quick succession. First captain Ryan Oakes crossed after running a good line from 10 metres out and then James Knight chipped ahead and gathered the ball for Walsham to go in front for the first time. Both tries were converted by Lee Thomson to put the visitors 14-7 ahead.
Holt kept battling away however and Tom Jackson cleverly read Walsham’s intention to move the ball wide and intercepted to run in a try from 80 metres. Again Wyatt converted and it was honours even after 25 minutes.
Walsham continued to use the wind to camp in their opponents’ half and eventually the pressure told and another penalty led to a lineout close to the Holt line. After the Walsham forwards failed to break through Holt’s determined defence the ball was moved wide for the winger Jordan Mustard to finish well in the corner, with Thomson converting.
Only minutes from half-time Holt lost two players to yellow cards and Walsham took full advantage, with Oakes scoring in the corner to make it 14-26.
Holt started the second half on the front foot but winger Henry Flower was unable to ground the ball when he look set to score.
Finally the visitors got into top gear, Aki Downing making ground for Mike Braans to score and then Will Hodgson following up a cross-kick to take the next touchdown. Roydon Miller started some forward interplay down the left which he finished himself before Jake Duffield sent Braans over for his second goal.
At the final whistle Hodgson crossed for Walsham’s ninth try and Chalk Hill Brewery man-of-the-match Thomson rounded off the scoring with his fifth conversion.