North Walsham 12 Colchester 21: Vikings lose unbeaten record after a brave fight

James Knight touches down for North Walsham during their game with fellow high-flyers Colchester Pic

James Knight touches down for North Walsham during their game with fellow high-flyers Colchester Picture: HYWEL JONES - Credit: Archant

North Walsham lost their unbeaten status in London One North to fellow high-flyers Colchester in a full blooded contest, going down by three tries to two.

Despite the Vikings not gaining any set-piece ball for the first hour of the game, excellent home defence kept the visitors to one score at the interval and denied them a try bonus point by the finish.

Chris Godwin started his 250th game for Walsham before the Vikings lost a scrum against the head, a second when they were pushed off the ball and gave away a penalty at the third, all within five minutes of the start. James Crozier made a hash of the place kick.

Home centre Taare Ferris was stretchered off on the quarter hour with a knee injury, Will Hodgson dropping to the backs as Dan Bird came on into the second row. Ryan Oakes took a yellow card before Tom Browes and Lachlan Brown-Bates gave Frank Scott and Dane Canning a breather in the front row.

Although Crozier missed a second kick at goal, a further penalty resulted in a try for Colchester scrum-half Matt Wadling, for Crozier to convert.

Red Lion Coltishall man of the match Bird tackled like a demon as Will Swart ripped the ball clear to relieve the line, the sides turning round at 7-0 in the visitors' favour.

Colchester started the second half with a man in the sin bin, but sub Dan Brennan broke through the middle for a second try for Crozier to convert.

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The visitors continued to press, full back Damien Brambley finishing off with a well taken score, added to by Crozier. From the resulting drop-out, James Knight gathered the ball and sprinted to the corner for a Walsham try, which Matt Hodgson couldn't convert.

The Vikings now began to get into the game, with some sharp interplay as they started to win line-out ball on their own throw and cleared the ball from their own put in with a rapid heel at the scrum. Several pairs of hands almost got Matt Hodgson over the line before Brown-Bates took the honours for Hodgson to add the extras.

Head of Rugby Johnny Marsters managed to view the game from the touchline, while temporarily out of hospital after receiving treatment for a blood infection.

North Walsham Raiders maintained their unbeaten run in EC1 North with an eight try 44-5 win over Wymondham II.

George Masdin opened the scoring after five minutes, with further scores coming from Michael Mulhall (3), Ed Sampson (2), Henry Hunt and Joe Morrell.

Mulhall and George Isbell added a conversion each.

Leaders Beccles beat Norwich Medics 29-15 to make it four straight wins while Lowestoft & Yarmouth were beaten 29-21 by Diss II at Gunton Park and Norwich Union saw off Norwich II 19-12 at Beeston Hyrne.

Norwich opened the scoring with an unconverted try before man of the match Jon Spicker drove through the remains of a scrum to score his first of the try game, which was duly converted by Tom Whitehouse. It wasn't long before Spicker scored his second try after linking up with winger Daniel Norgate, with Whitehouse again adding the extras. Norwich reduced the arrears with a penalty try but Union had the final say as winger Callum Slaughter raced over for the decisive score.

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