North Walsham win 75-5 in a match reduced to 60 minutes
- Credit: Archant
North Walsham ran in 11 tries for a 75-5 win in a match that ended early due injuries picked up by a courageous but limited Amersham & Chiltern side.
The perfect conditions at Scottow suited the Vikings' expansive game to such an extent that the visitors called it a day on the hour mark.
The match will also be remembered for the pitchside proposal by prop Lachlan Brown-Bates which was accepted, much to the relief of the watching supporters!
The Vikings were 14-0 ahead inside 10 minutes as Jim Riley ran through three tackles to score under the posts and Jake Duffield went over after good work from Brown-Bates and James Knights.
The visitors quickly reduced the arrears but it was soon 33-5. Joe Milligan provided the opportunity for Matt Hodgson to cross, Knights ran through and Hodgson turned provider for Riley's second.
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Two more converted tries were added before the break, with Milligan pouncing on a fumble for Hodgson to score before a flowing move involving Knights and Dan Smith ended with Duffield getting his second.
After a swift counter-attack Riley skipped over to complete his hat-trick early in the second half before substitute Mike Braans set up Smith and Knights scored his second after good work by Milligan. Roydon Miller caught the restart and set Milligan on his way to what proved to be the final try, with Hodgson making it 10 conversions from 11.
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It was then that the struggling visitors successfully petitioned the referee for an early finish.
Fielding a side containing a balance of experience and raw youth, Diss fought tooth and nail before going down 46-29 to Old Priorians.
After Chris Beaird had slotted a penalty the visitors hit back with a well worked try but a driving maul then allowed John Laurie to touch down, with Beaird's superb conversion giving the Blues a five-point lead.
A period of Diss errors and quality open play from the visitors led to three tries but George Jones jinked his way through to score one of the best tries seen at Mackenders this season to bring the half-time deficit back to eight.
The visitors then stretched their lead with a couple more tries and a penalty but the brave hosts never gave up. With 10 minutes remaining attacking play sparked by Tom Miller sent Will Craggs over and then a combination led by Laurie and Matt Richards gave Beaird the opportunity to touch down.
Norwich edged past visitors Wanstead 25-19 in the penultimate play of a fast-paced game between two evenly matched sides.
They came firing out of the blocks with a try in the left corner from winger Rob Micklethwaite after some patient build-up work.
Wanstead levelled with a pick-up and drive and, after Micklethwaite had scored his second wide out, led 12-10 at the break when poor decision making gifted them a try. The visitors moved two scores ahead with a converted try but Theo Elliott kept his side in touch with a penalty before, following intense pressure, Conan Hoey went over after the ball had gone across the backs from a five metre scrum.
Now just one point behind, Norwich raised their game and a good run by Jason Hynd almost saw him over the line before captain Matt Selby picked up and drove over, with the conversion completing the scoring.
Southwold were punished for a high penalty count as they went down 23-22 at Cantabrigian. The margin of defeat may have been narrow but the visitors were always playing catch-up, with Guy Blades' late converted try, his second of the day, only a consolation. Ollie Carlstroem also touched down while Josh Wallis added a couple of conversions and Luke Wade a penalty.
Wymondham moved into pole position to win the title as they cruised to a 68-0 win at lowly Ipswich YM while Holt were losing 33-26 at home to mid-table Fakenham.
The Red & Blacks ran in 12 tries in a dominant display, with nine coming in the second half. The scorers were Greaves (2), Hunter (2), Anwar (2), Ziggy (2), Delaney, Charlish, Beales and Blake.
Holt were 23-12 ahead early in the second half thanks to tries from Ashley Woods, Henry Flower and Robbie Battley, one of which was converted, and two penalties from James Wyatt.
But a hat-trick from winger Murray Tindal, all converted by Lloyd Marshall, turned the game on its head, with a Wyatt penalty the only Holt reply. Josh Gee and Tom Bane Young had scored the visitors' first half tries.
Ely are still very much in the title race after a winning 47-24 at Wisbech but no-one will be able to catch Wymondham if they win their final game at West Norfolk on April 8. Wests had a fine 57-5 derby win over Wisbech while Crusaders edged past Thetford 10-7.
Beccles strengthened their position at the top of the Shield by beating Cottenham Renegades 71-15 at Beef Meadow while closest rivals Hadleigh were being held to a 17-17 draw by Norwich Union (tries from Ben Bond-Webster, Craig Dunbar and Callum Slaughter and a conversion from Alex Sinclair).
In the Plate a tight game saw the North Walsham Raiders extend their lead with 16-10 win over Shelford III thanks to tries from Nathan Bensley and Will Minchin and two penalties from Dan Goodrich.
In ECN2 Swaffham beat Broadland Great Yarmouth 38-15 (Clarke 3, Potter 2, Gough).