Struggling Vikings let it slip after a bright start

North Walsham 20, Chingford 25: North Walsham missed a glorious chance to register what would have been only their second London 1N victory of the season on Saturday.

The Vikings were 17-0 ahead until just before the interval, but mid-table Chingford upped their game in the third quarter, and coupled with Walsham indiscipline, this resulted in only a losing bonus point at the finish.

The late arrival of the visitors delayed kick off by 25 minutes, before Walsham wing forward Chris Godwin got the first score, converted by Henry Dewing. Dewing then kicked a penalty.

Strong tackling Viking centre Stephen Hyde later left the field with a serious right shoulder injury and was replaced by Chad Seeley.

The Walsham forwards were in the ascendancy at this stage, a pick and drive giving hooker Mark McCall a try after 36 minutes with Dewing adding the conversion.


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Viking half backs Shane van Vuuren and Dewing served the back line well, allowing Harry Barrett and Will Craggs to put in some strong runs.

Just before half-time Stephen Hollis kicked ahead for Chingford, allowing fellow centre Brendan Hart to touch down. David Boughtwood was successful with the conversion, bringing the scores to 17-7 at the break.

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With the strong wind now behind them, Chingford increased the tempo, while Walsham began to give away a string of penalties at the breakdown. Boughtwood missed the first two shots at goal, but was successful with a third attempt.

Vikings prop Stuart Loose was sent to the sin bin following offences at the ruck, Gerald Hegarty moving up from the back row to cover. Shortly afterwards Hart got a second try, under the posts, converted by Boughtwood, to tie the scores.

The final quarter continued to be blighted by penalties against the home side. Loose, back on the field for only two minutes, received a second yellow card, and was sent off.

Chingford then took the lead with a Boughtwood penalty, but Dewing drew the Vikings level a minute later with a penalty of his own.

With time running out, Hart reached his hat-trick with a run through a stretched defence, to bring Chingford victory by 20-25.

Walsham are firmly anchored at the bottom of the league, and every game is now going to be a battle, with each player owing personal responsibility to the team effort.

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