North Walsham shrug off first half deficit to win 62-19

James Riley sets out on a run during North Walsham's big win over Ruislip. Picture: Hywel Jones

James Riley sets out on a run during North Walsham's big win over Ruislip. Picture: Hywel Jones - Credit: Archant

North Walsham recovered from a half-time deficit to record an emphatic win in an astonishing match. After a lacklustre first-half display, the Vikings completely overwhelmed their opponents with eight unanswered tries, many from deep, in a wonderful display of running rugby.

All the early play was in the Vikings' half and when they got deep into Ruislip's half for the first time a misdirected pass gave the visitors the opportunity to break out, Danny Barry scoring. Midway through the half, another handling error gave Ruislip a further opportunity, Barry converting Karl Kavanaugh's try to make it 12-0.

Five minutes later it so nearly became 19-0, James Riley doing well to get back and make a try saving tack.

The Vikings were struggling but 15 minutes before the break they scored when Hal Riley darted over, James Knight converting. Five minutes before half-time the hosts took the lead, Jake Duffield scoring a converted try after Josh Brown's 40 metre run, but Ruislip quickly restored their advantage when a lapse enabled Matt Newman to stride over, Barry converting.

The Vikings then took over, doubling their score within four minutes of the restart. Brown somehow weaved his way past five defenders from 20 metres and then, from a similar distance, Lachlan Brown-Bates took the opposite approach, disdainfully brushing aside three. Knight converted both.


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Two more tries, one converted, came in the next 15 minutes. James Riley outpaced the defence from 40 metres after Brown had broken through and then Knight, playing fly-half with Duffield injured, put in a perfect cross kick for Freddie Henley-Hunter to gather and score.

A brief lull followed before the Vikings burst into life again with four tries in the final 10 minutes, one converted.

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Dan Smith, making his first start, got two, one assisted by Knight's deft grubber kick, the other when he ran almost the length of the pitch. James Riley's second try also started in the 22 with at least five being players involved in some high speed passing.

Finally, Chalk Hill Brewery man of the match Brown gathered a bouncing ball and outpaced three defenders from 20 metres.

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