Battle for local pride as Diss take on North Walsham

Dan Smith gets North Walsham on the front foot at Bridge Road during Saturday's Norfolk Senior Cup d

Dan Smith gets North Walsham on the front foot at Bridge Road during Saturday's Norfolk Senior Cup derby match against Holt. The Vikings came away with a 55-14 win. Picture: Hywel Jones - Credit: Archant

The second big London Two North derby of the season takes place at Mackenders on Saturday, with Diss playing host to long-term rivals North Walsham (2.30pm).

Recent encounters between the sides have mostly resulted in wins for the Vikings, the latest being a 53-19 success at Scottow back in October.

But there will be no room for complacency, particularly as Diss will still be smarting from the surprise Norfolk Senior Cup semi-final defeat they suffered at the hands of Norwich while Walsham were comfortably seeing off Holt.

James Brooks will no doubt be revisiting the video of the previous game to remind his side of their hosts' strengths and will probably be emphasising the need for a quick start.

There appeared to be no more than a few knocks and bruises last week so it will be how to accommodate the returnees that will tax Brooks when he sits down to make his selection.

Among those likely to be competing for a place will be Jim Riley, who had a slight strain which he did not want to aggravate, Lachlan Brown-Bates, flanker Chris Godwin and utility back Harry Downing who, though not 100 per cent, played a major part in the Raiders' semi-final win at Norwich. Among those missing out are flanker Ed Sampson and full-back Ben O'Hickey, carrying injuries from a couple of weeks ago, and Tom Younie who picked up a nasty injury to his nose requiring seven stitches while playing for Eastern Counties Under-20s last week.

The Raiders make what is believed to be the first trip by a North Walsham side to Thurston near Bury St Edmunds, for a Greene King Eastern Counties Shield game.

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There's a showdown to savour in London Three Eastern Counties when Southwold play host to Stowmarket in a top-of-the-table clash.

Southwold go into the match in second place, four points behind their long-term rivals, and know nothing less than a win will do if they are to retain realistic hopes of winning the title.

In other games Wymondham host Thetford, Holt travel to bottom of the table Lowestoft & Yarmouth and Crusaders entertain West Norfolk.

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