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North Walsham make it six straight wins after superb start

PUBLISHED: 14:48 14 October 2019

Jake Callender prepares to touch down during North Walsham Raiders' comprehensive win over Norwich Lions Picture: ABBI POWLEY

Jake Callender prepares to touch down during North Walsham Raiders' comprehensive win over Norwich Lions Picture: ABBI POWLEY

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North Walsham produced a superb first half display in miserable conditions to set up a comfortable 28-7 victory at Old Priorians and make it six wins out of six in London One North.

North Walsham Raiders' Tom Coller on the front foot during the cup tie against Norwich Lions at Scottow Picture: ABBI POWLEYNorth Walsham Raiders' Tom Coller on the front foot during the cup tie against Norwich Lions at Scottow Picture: ABBI POWLEY

North Walsham produced a superb first half display in miserable conditions to set up a comfortable 28-7 victory at Old Priorians and make it six wins out of six in London One North.

The Vikings soon laid siege to the home 22 and good backs handling resulted in a fine try under the posts for Matt Hodgson which he duly converted.

It wasn't long before good ball at a scrum saw the visitors racing up the blindside and James Knight went over in the corner, with Hodgson making an excellent conversion.

Old Priorians' next restart went straight to hand for the Vikings, allowing Hodgson to kick back into the opposition half. A turnover regained the ball which was then moved quickly from side to side and Jim Riley finished it all off with a penetrating run into the corner, scoring the try which Hodgson converted.

Brothers Henry, Tom and Joe Harrison who all played for Holt against Ipswich on Saturday Picture: MARTYN SLOMANBrothers Henry, Tom and Joe Harrison who all played for Holt against Ipswich on Saturday Picture: MARTYN SLOMAN

The restart had a similar outcome as Riley scored his second try from another incisive backs' move. Hodgson again converted and Walsham were quickly 28-0 ahead after probably the best 30 minutes of rugby they have produced this season in weather not at all conducive to a fast handling game.

The home side then regrouped and reduced the arrears before half-time with a converted try which followed a slip in defence after a line-out.

That proved to be the end of the scoring as Old Priorians showed a lot more determination after the break while the Vikings seemed to drop off the pace in the worsening conditions. It was a relief to all when the referee whistled for the end with Vikings having a four try bonus point win in the bag.

"The first half was the best, most professional, rugby we have played this season," said head of rugby Johnny Marsters. "Unfortunately the bad weather took over and contributed strongly to the arm wrestle the second half became. The team has to learn to cope with adversity but a try bonus point win away from home in adverse conditions is a good result in anyone's book."

The Coltishall Red Lion man of the match was Dan Bird.

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Holt went down 39-27 at home to Ipswich in London 2NE in a rerun of the game that was abandoned three weeks ago after a player injury.

In the previous fixture Holt were 10-38 behind when the decision was made to end the match. On this occasion they fared far better, with a determined performance and an impressive last quarter.

They could not, however, quite match the organisation of the Ipswich three-quarters and the strength of their place-kicking.

In a tight first half Ipswich scrum-half Elliot Siddle scored two penalties while there was an impressive unconverted Holt try when outside-half Ollie Jaggard made a clever blind-side break. Ipswich centre Ben Grimwood then scored after good inter-passing and Jaggard responded with a penalty, taking the score to 8-11.

The result of the game was decided with a series of Ipswich tries immediately before and after half-time. Centre Tim Mann ghosted through just before the break, with Siddle converting, and then wing Carlton Littlechild scored wide out, with the excellent Siddle again converting. This was followed by another Grimwood try and an inevitable Siddle conversion.

To put the match beyond doubt Lewis Pickford broke away for an individual try, again converted, and with the score at 8-39 it looked as though Holt faced an uncomfortable final quarter.

However, they then displayed considerable spirit, which bodes well for the rest of the season. Replacement Jimmy Goodliffe scored a try, with fellow-centre Aaron Tagg converting, wing Ollie Woodrow scored wide out and then centre Tom Jackson intercepted and ran a full a 50 metres to score under the posts. Jackson's try gave scrum-half Will Allen an easy conversion.

Three Harrison brothers appeared in the Holt side. Club captain Henry and his brother Joe, who had started the season, were joined by scrum-half Tom, who has returned from New Zealand. Joe was Norfolk Brewhouse man of the match.

North Walsham Raiders eased into the second round of the Norfolk Junior Cup with a 44-10 win over Norwich Lions at Scottow.

After a tight first 40 minutes, with a half-time score of 12-5, the visitors were roundly punished with three tries while down to 14 with a man in the sin bin. Although this was an all round performance seven of the eight tries came from the forwards, flanker Alex Houghton claiming a hat-trick. Other scorers were Mark McCall, Seb Roberts, Keiron Staff, Jake Callender and Theo Hudson. Jamie Hooker added two conversions.

West Norfolk beat Thetford 21-15 at Gatehouse Lane in the first round of the RFU Senior Vase.

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