Hal Riley’s exit is a blow for North Walsham RFC

North Walsham power forward during a tough battle with Fullerians. Picture: Hywel Jones

North Walsham power forward during a tough battle with Fullerians. Picture: Hywel Jones - Credit: Archant

North Walsham face stiff opposition again tomorrow when they travel to Amersham & Chiltern who currently sit third in the London 1N table.

Having been promoted at the end of the 2015-16 season Amersham found the pace a bit too hot to handle and dropped straight back down to London One North.

This term they have been in the top three or four for most of the season and last week's defeat at Eton Manor was only their third, with the others coming at the hands of Chingford and Fullerians, which should be a fair indication of the task facing the Vikings.

When they travelled to Scottow back in October the result was a 21-21 draw so coach James Brooks will have a fair idea of how the game is likely to pan out.

When Brooks sits down to select his side he will have a big hole to fill as inside centre Hal Riley has been approached by National League Two North side Stourbridge and has agreed to make the transition to the higher level. Riley, who along with brother James joined from neighbours Holt in the close season, has made a huge impact in the brief time he has been at Scottow, scoring seven tries in his 14 appearances.

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The shuffle to fill the gap is problematical as James Knight is out with a broken wrist. One possibility would be to move Mike Braans or Harry Downing into the centre with Ben O'Hickey filling in.

There appeared to be no injuries last week and so most positions could remain unchanged, although front rower Tom Browes, on the bench last week, is away.

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North Walsham (from): A Downing, L Brown-Bates, W Swart, R Oakes, R Miller, T Scotland, C Godwin, E Sampson, W Hodgson, J Duffield, M Braans, J Riley, D Smith, T Younie, H Downing, B O'Hickey, T Weber, D Canning, T Knight, L Thomson, R King.

Diss are back in action at Mackenders, with seventh placed Old Priorians providing the opposition.

The team should go into the match brimming with confidence after an excellent 41-7 win at Letchworth Garden City last time out.

The victory consolidated 10th place in the table and lifted Diss 19 points clear of third from bottom Saffron Walden.

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