North Walsham 37 Eton Manor: Vikings up to second after beating close rivals

A desperate latch ditch tackle can't prevent Jake Duffield from touching down for North Walsham Pict

A desperate latch ditch tackle can't prevent Jake Duffield from touching down for North Walsham Picture: HYWEL JONES - Credit: Archant

North Walsham overcame close rivals Eton Manor by six tries to one to move to second in London One North.

In a tough encounter on a miserable afternoon both sides showed excellent ball handling skills, with no quarter given.

The Vikings were ahead on two minutes when full back Jake Duffield caught a rebounding ball to touch down in the far right hand corner but Matt Hodgson was unable to convert.

Joe Milligan showed some good pace in the centre, with a crisp hand off before Hodgson hit a successful penalty when the visitors went offside. Manor responded with a break from centre Aaron Lowe, who sent full back Elliott Brown over for the try, which was converted by Jack Emerson.

Manor had the nudge in the early scrums, but Tom Knight kept the home lineout ticking over with accurate throws throughout the afternoon.

Matt Hodgson had missed a second penalty, before James Knight made the first of several runs through the crowded midfield, the latter's kick ahead just evading Donavin Dejongh's fingers at the line.

Walsham were going well, with Milligan almost to the goal soon after. Manor had a clearing kick charged down and from the ensuing scrum Lachlan Brown-Bates scored for Hodgson to convert.

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Viking pressure continued to pay off with a further try from Brown-Bates five minutes later, Hodgson adding the extras to make it 22-7 at half-time.

Manor started the second period with a man in the sin bin as the rain intensified.

Former Vikings' centre Rhys Davies-Horne then followed his Manor colleague to the bin for a deliberate knock on, as Dane Canning and Will Swart came on in a reshuffled home eight.

The Walsham scrummage ebbed again as Manor began to push them about on the greasy surface but captain Will Hodgson rallied his troops with an individual try from short range, which went unconverted.

Mike Braans moved to scrum-half, allowing Rob King onto the wing before Coltishall Red Lion man of the match James Knight finally got his own try.

To round things off at the final whistle Canning went over in the maul for score number six.

Head of Rugby Johnny Marsters praised his side's mental attitude on a day when they knew they would be tested in the scrum and was pleased with the overall performance.

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