Amersham & Chiltern 17 North Walsham 22: Vikings shrug off red card setback to win
- Credit: Archant
North Walsham beat Amersham for the first time in five attempts, with both sides scoring three tries in a tight encounter.
The Vikings took some time to come to terms with the heavier home pack and were guilty of squandering attacking opportunities by throwing over-long passes which didn't go to hand.
Early pressure from the hosts saw stand-off Stuart Pearham kick for the corners, with serial mauls resulting in a pushover try for Jordan Scott, which Pearham converted.
Matt Hodgson replied with similar tactics and after several phases James Knight went over for Hodgson to add the extras.
Five minutes later Walsham centre Joe Milligan set off from inside his own half, outpacing the cover to run round behind the posts to score, Hodgson again converting.
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Pearham kept kicking for the corner, allowing Scott to score again from another pushover, the conversion going awry. The Walsham scrum was getting tighter as the half finished with the hosts 14-12 ahead.
Tom Browes started the second period at tight head as the Vikings' attacking line dropped yet another long pass. Walsham lock Dan Bird then earned a straight red card for dangerous contact to the head, leaving the visitors with 14 men for the final 34 minutes.
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The Vikings knuckled down, Ryan Oakes stole a home lineout throw and James Knight joined the back row of the scrum on the visitors' put-in.
Mike Braans took over at scrum-half, allowing Ben O'Hickey on at full back, before Amersham centre Ben Pothecary took a yellow card, and Matt Hodgson converted the penalty.
Chiltern left wing Michael Brothers scored next with a dash down the touchline to bring the scores to 17-17, the conversion going astray.
Two minutes later, Walsham captain Will Hodgson made a match winning interception, just managing to reach the goal line to score and Vikings rode out the final seven minutes to achieve victory.
Head of Rugby Johnny Marsters felt his team showed character against a good side, and named Will Hodgson the Coltishall Red Lion man of the match.