North Walsham’s chance to open healthy gap

Having garnered an invaluable maximum ten points from their last two league games to drag themselves out of the bottom three, North Walsham will be hell bent on increasing the gap between themselves and the teams below them when they host Ruislip tomorrow.

The Middlesex side, who it seems have only visited Scottow once previously, back in the late 80s, have had a mixed season and currently lie just below the halfway mark in the table.

In the away fixture the Vikings came away with three points for a draw and four try bonus. It was a real fighting performance after they lost centre Will Hodgson in the third minute with a dislocated elbow and full-back Charlie Lockhart after half an hour.

Nick Greenhall came on to replace Hodgson, scoring an invaluable try. Hodgson, thankfully, is now fully recovered and has formed a strong centre partnership with fellow student Stephen Hyde.

With Stuart Loose, Chris Godwin, Gerald Hegarty, all back and the possible return of Leon Davies and Shane van Vuuren from the maternity ward the side should be at full strength although there will be a change at No 8 as Skipper Andy Tibbatts is unavailable.

Either Tom Coller or Chris Kent could take the No 8 shirt, but Greenhall has cover available in the shape of Chris Hamilton, who did some solid work against Beccles.

The Raiders who have had two weeks off, play Norwich in a rearranged Merit Table game.

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Before the match the club will be holding its annual Charity Lunch. This year it is in aid of the Colonel's Fund for members of the Light Dragoons injured in combat.

Colonel Sam Plant will address members at the lunch, where there will be an auction to raise funds, and during the game members of the Light Dragoons, who are shortly due to deploy to Afghanistan, will arrive from their base at Swanton Morley in an armoured vehicle to take a pitch side collection.

• Diss will be bidding to consolidate their fourth place in London One North when they welcome Brentwood to Mackenders.

After an unscheduled week off due to Wymondham's withdrawal from the Norfolk Cup semi-finals, Diss will be keen to build on recent results while Brentwood are looking to bounce back after a loss to Bury St Edmunds last time out.

While they will admit to having a smaller squad of regular players, the Essex side have, however, taken wins against both Colchester and Thurrock, the league leaders, this season and currently lie ninth, safely assured of remaining at this level.

Diss and Brentwood last met in the 2008-2009 season with wins going to the home side on both occasions.

At the away fixture in November this season, Diss took the honours. On what should be a pleasant spring day, there looks to be a great contest in store.