Tring 18, North Walsham 20

With 22 minutes left on the clock, Tring leading 18-0, and Sandberg and Davies in the sinbin, the home supporters probably thought this game was in the bag.

This young Vikings side is not without resilience, however, and the tactical kicking of Jake Harris gave the forwards and backs a platform which was to win them the game with the final kick.

Confidence and the will to win is a must at any level and a motivational chat during the week by Fox, Moorfoot and Van Poortvliet, three players, from the 1996-7 side which escaped relegation with a last ditch win over Metropolitan Police, may have played a part in this match.

Playing down the slope and with the wind at their backs, Tring kicked off and with Vikings failing to collect clean ball, and the referee playing advantage from a knock-on, they moved the ball out right for full back Newton to drive through the Vikings' defence to score an unconverted try.

A penalty goal was to follow and, as the end of the first quarter approached, a chip down the right by wing Roberts and some indecisive play by full-back Frost saw him scrambling the ball into touch five metres from the line.


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A quick-thinking Roberts took a quick throw-in to an undefended line-out and wing forward Briggenshaw was on hand to score the try, with Selwyn converting.

From the second half kick-off Tring drove the ball up the slope and for the next 10 minutes camped themselves in the Vikings 22. Under severe pressure, penalties were conceded and Tring elected to either scrum or take the line-out. The try line was kept intact but the penalty count saw Sandberg (back chatting) and Davies (offside) yellow carded. Eventually, Selwyn took a penalty goal from in front of the posts but it was scant reward.

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Harris now began to get the Vikings into good field position with probing kicks. A concentrated drive by the forwards down the left saw Roberts cross for an unconverted try and within two minutes Sandberg went over, and with Harris adding the extras there were six points in it with 18 minutes to play.

Time and time again Harris put his team in to the Tring 22 with his kicks. Tring were now on the back foot and were having to defend for sustained periods. Driving play by the forwards and quick movement of the ball by the backs eventually reaped its reward and Frost went over for an unconverted try. The score was 18-17 with four minutes left to play.

It was beginning to look like a bonus point was going to be the only reward for the visitors but with the last play of the game they took the ball in to the Tring 22 and at the ensuing ruck were awarded a penalty in front of the posts. Harris kicked the ball between the uprights, the referee blew his whistle and Vikings players and supporters were ecstatic.

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