Vikings are left to rue their misses

North Walsham 13, Hammersmith & Fulham 23: Newly-relegated Vikings lost at home to newly- promoted Hammersmith & Fulham in a game which saw both teams score two tries.

Though the teams were evenly matched the visitors took their chances well whereas the home 15 were unable to convert numerous attacking field positions into points.

Full-back Neil McClure collected all the Hammers scores, adding three penalties and a conversion to his brace of tries.

Walsham half backs Henry Dewing and Ethan Reed launched numerous phases of play, allowing centres Tony Kingsmill, Adie Ball and full back Adam Dye to invariably cross the gain line, only for any advantage to come to nothing.

The Vikings started crisply, but missed a penalty in the first three minutes. McClure scored his first, just before his team lost open side Steve Harrington with a chest injury.

Into the second quarter, Walsham's Elder Grobbelaar fielded a Reed kick ahead to score out wide on his left wing. The conversion was unsuccessful. However, Reed fared better with a penalty when the opposition were penalised for crossing.

A minute later, following good H&F lineout ball from Charles Baillie, and a break by Jack Sargent, McClure ran in under the posts, through four missed tackles, adding the conversion, to take the lead. Reed was unable to convert a further Walsham penalty just before the break, leaving the half time scores at 8-10.

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McClure kicked a penalty four minutes into the second period. Later a Dewing break put Gerald Hegarty in for an unconverted Viking try, to tie the scores.

Ian Beck was carrying well for Walsham, Chris Hamilton, Robin Praat and Chris Godwin were persistent in the loose and Tom Coller gleaned good line out ball, as well as popping up in the line with Shane van Vuuren.

Into the last quarter McClure followed up a speculative drop goal attempt by Sargent to again score under the posts and to convert his own try. The former then added a further penalty seven minutes from the end to make the final result 13-23.

Colchester 22 Diss 15

Diss made the worst possible start when their kick-off was caught by the Colchester open side, who off-loaded to the second row, who scored under the posts.

They hit back with a penalty from Chris Beaird and went 8-7 up with a push-over try from Tim Groom, who retired shortly afterwards with an ankle injury.

One of many string runs from Beaird resulted in a further try under the posts for Warred Wilby. Beaird converted for a half time score of 15-7.

In the second half a penalty closed the score before the home pack managed a ball against the head at a scrum deep in Diss territory and the resulting play led to a try by prop J Balfour, the conversion being missed.

The referee finally lost patience with the number of penalties and Tom Holt paid the price with a ten minute rest in the bin, which helped Colchester take the lead with a late try by Matthew Morgan.

The last few minutes were all Diss, but they were unable to find the score needed to get a draw.