Walsham face long trip to play fellow strugglers

Whatever the result for North Walsham Vikings tomorrow there will be a collective sigh of relief as the trip to Clifton is the final overnight trip before mid-February.

Whatever the result for North Walsham Vikings tomorrow there will be a collective sigh of relief as the trip to Clifton is the final overnight trip before mid-February.

Visits to the Bristol-based club have been less than fruitful for Walsham, with just two wins in six visits, one of those coming last season. Even then, Walsham were subsequently deducted four points for fielding an ineligible player.

Clifton have had a chequered life in the National League Three. They dropped to South West One in 2002, regaining their place last season when they struggled to find consistency and much the same is the case this time.

So tomorrow's encounter will be between two sides desperate to win and in Walsham's case it could be one of the most critical games of the season.

Last week the coaching team lost and regained players through injury and well though those who started last week played they will be hoping for the return of Chris Godwin to bolster the defence.

If fit he is likely to play at openside but the question of who pl8 will be have been decided at last night's training session.

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Definitely out is Jason Applin, with a broken bone in his wrist, while John Kelly is also nursing an injury. Iain Beck is back in contention for a place in the pack but the second row of Leon Davies and Ollie Arnold have looked solid.

If all are fit, and there was some doubt about Davies suffering from a stomach bug during the week, Beck could move to the blindside, with Mike Howard going to eight.

A huge plus point last week was the return form retirement of prop Stuart Loose and if he can make the trip his presence would be a boost to morale.

The back line should not contain too many surprises, with the half back and centre partnerships worthy of another run, but the return of Rob Clymer from a season in New Zealand would add an extra dimension in the back three.

A very fit and quick player, he showed last season what a devastating finisher he can be with five tries from a dozen outings.

Other players on the brink of recall include Will Farrer and Adam Gowen but they may have to be content with a run out in the second team at Cambridge.

North Walsham's annual charity day was held last Saturday. This year he featured charity was the Royal Anglian Regiment's Memorial Fund.

The club entertained four members of the regiment at lunch prior to the game against Rosslyn Park and at half-time they took a touchline collection which netted in excess of £66.