Thurrock 28 North Walsham 22 – Away woes continue after half-time lead is overturned
- Credit: Hywel Jones
Despite being well ahead at the break, North Walsham lost again away from home to slip to sixth place in the table on a windswept afternoon.
The Vikings have now lost seven of their 10 matches away from home this campaign, yet have been imperious at home, winning nine of their 10 matches at Scottow.
With Rhys Davies-Horne and Ashley Speight in the line, Mike Rouse was put away for the first touchdown on nine minutes, converted by Henry Dewing.
Thurrock centre Earl Gorman then barrelled over for an unconverted try before home wing Jake Barrand was yellow carded for an illegal tackle.
Ryan Oakes got the second try, which went unconverted, before Wayne Williams came on for the injured Speight and later departed to the sin bin as Walsham began giving away needless penalties.
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Tom Coller was in control at the line-out and Jake Colman's tackles kept the centre channel intact as Chalk Hill Brewery man of the match Aki Downing repeatedly carried over the gain line.
Walsham winger Mike Braans crossed next with Dewing completing the conversion with a drop kick after the ball had twice blown off the tee.
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Ryan Oakes came off injured, resulting in a reshuffle, with Shane van Vuuren, just back from injury, going into the back row from the wing.
More significant was the replacement of Thurrock prop Dan Carey by player-coach Ali McKenzie, which led to a steadying of home forward control.
Just before half-time, Dewing was successful with the second of two penalties, allowing the visitors to go in 22-5 ahead at the interval.
Thurrock started the new half with a strike against the head before Barrand struck a penalty when Walsham strayed offside. Pressure then on the Vikings' line led to a try off the back of the scrum for fly-half Tom Worsfold, converted by Barrand.
Walsham lost another set piece on their put in, and Thurrock were sensing the possibility of victory as Barrand kicked another penalty.
Debutant Gregan Kirkham replaced Dewing at scrum-half before David Treglown was unsuccessful with a penalty kick from the 10-metre line. Barrand then responded with a try in the right-hand corner, which took the lead, but went unconverted.
The Vikings had gone off the boil completely, with holes appearing in the defence, and a yellow card for captain Rouse. With three minutes remaining Thurrock lock Jordan Thorne scored an unconverted fourth try from a take and drive to seal the victory.
n North Walsham Raiders beat Diss thirds 55-5 at Scottow in Eastern Counties 3N.
Although always in command of the game following a second-minute try for Guy Salzedo, having taken the score to 24-0 at the break, the hosts had to soak up some serious pressure from Diss early in the second half before re-establishing their authority. Fielding a mostly young side and including a couple of players returning to the area, they ran in nine tries before Diss squeezed in at the corner.
Freddie Henley-Hunter, Pena Sokia and Bill Vurewa all scored twice each, Aaron Beaumont, Greg Wills and Josh Lewin also touching down and Sam Rossi adding five conversions.