Third whitewash for struggling Walsham

Bridgwater & Albion 46, North Walsham 0The third whitewash the Vikings have suffered in six games is unprecedented in the club's long National League history - as is the long casualty list that presents itself to Jon Curry each week.

Bridgwater & Albion 46, North Walsham 0

The third whitewash the Vikings have suffered in six games is unprecedented in the club's long National League history - as is the long casualty list that presents itself to Jon Curry each week.

The Scottow faithful could be forgiven for thinking that the future is bleak as the team sits at the foot of Division Three South.

Saturday's defeat though, whilst bad in terms of the scoreline, also had the signs of a recovery on the horizon - if only the casualty list begins to shrink.

Despite conceding seven tries to a Bridgwater side that just happened to produce their best performance of the season, the Vikings, at times, looked a better outfit than in recent weeks and scrums were solid with the additions of two Lukes, Kanuta and Watts.

The game began with Walsham exerting pressure on the home side and it was arguably the visitors who edged the territorial advantage.

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However, ball retention, loose kicks from hand and poor line-out control would be North Walsham's ultimate downfall.

After 12 minutes the first turnover ball allowed Tito Elisara to break through the Viking midfield and with three Bridgwater players behind the Viking defence a score was inevitable and Elisara finally finished the move that Christian Wulff converted.

The next 30 minutes were nightmarish for both the small band of travelling supporters and players alike as Walsham seemed to have little answer to Wulff and Elisara, whose partnership was mesmerising the visitors' defence. Try saving tackles from Jim Hurlock, Ben Nicoll (playing his third position in three games), and Jason Applin kept Bridgewater down to one further try and two penalties up to the half hour. The loss of Cameron Caine just before the half hour mark was a further blow. Then, as half-time approached, a penalty try gave Bridgwater a 27-0 lead and any prospects of an away win looked dead and buried.

Another injury, this time to debutant Applin, must have affected team moral but whatever was said it had galvanised the Vikings and they came out fighting and looked to take the game to Bridgwater. This was the Vikings we all know and love - tackling hard, first to the breakdown and pressing for that elusive score. It looked like a case of 'not if but when' but Lady Luck didn't smile on Walsham and they failed to cross the try line, despite putting in a monumental effort to do so.

Once again, one mistake allowed Bridgwater's counterattacking machine in and the Vikings conceded another try. The hosts' ability to punish North Walsham whenever a mistake occurred was really the difference between the two sides and despite players tackling their hearts out it was impossible to defend Bridgwater once they got behind the Vikings' defence in broken play.

Next week sees a week off league action when Scottow plays host to Maidstone in the first round of the EDF National Trophy and with the likely return of some injured players there might be some light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully the additions to the casualty list won't mean that the light is an on-rushing train.