Walsham get back on track

North Walsham 36, Luton 13What a difference a week makes. Last weekend North Walsham played their socks off and failed to cross the opposition line but on Saturday a very similar performance brought a convincing four try win.

North Walsham 36, Luton 13

What a difference a week makes. Last weekend North Walsham played their socks off and failed to cross the opposition line but on Saturday a very similar performance brought a convincing four try win.

It was especially pleasing because Jon Curry kept faith and selected the same starting line-up making just one positional change, bringing Adam Gowen into outside centre and moving Adriaan Engelbrecht to the wing.

Walsham were quick to make their mark with some sparkling play from the backs and it took just over four minutes for them to set the scoreboard moving. A kick ahead from Andy Thorpe was recycled by the forwards, Waldo de Jager drove to within a couple of metres and Jamie Burroughs was on hand to add the finishing touch. Having arrived at Scottow with a reputation for his kicking ability Engelbrecht slotted the conversion, the first of a six from eight record.

Then a great run by de Jager was halted on the Luton 22, the ball was turned over and wing Shaun Crowley scooted down the wing, eluding several tackles to score near the corner.

An Engelbrecht penalty from in front of the posts, given for offside, brought three points and then it was the turn of the forwards to show their paces. A penalty was kicked to five metres, Ian Beck took the catch, the drive was well controlled and No8 John Kelly burrowed his way over the line for a try which was converted.

Most Read

The Vikings were having the better of the turnovers and they formed the platform for several of their attacks. One such on the Luton 22 was quickly moved right, a three man overlap was established and as the backs lined any one of four could have made the line. The most likely candidate, Gowen, with no one to beat handed on to Thorpe who added to his impressive record by making the touchdown. Luton clawed back three points with a penalty from skipper Simon Lincoln but the half-time lead was back to 22 when Engelbrecht landed his second.

It was the visitors who came out all fired up after the break but they were soon on the back foot when Godwin and McCall won the ball on the ground and another try looked on the cards. But a high tackle by Dave Coleman on Gowen was punished by a yellow card and a further three points were added from the kick.

Although with no chance of turning the game round Luton mounted some sporadic attacks which gained them some territory and when released, wing Mike Adinaya proved a handful.

Walsham needed the fourth try for the bonus point but the win was the priority and Engelbrecht converted his fourth penalty. With the game won Curry made his first changes, Beyers Visagie taking over from Jake Titterington and Deaglan Hall from Leon Davies. As the Walsham relaxed Luton had a good spell but the defence was superb and rock solid until No.8 Andy Davey picked up from the back of a scrum inside the Walsham 22 and fed scrum half Birt Yirrell to touch down too wide out for the kick to succeed.

Titterington returned to the action when Mark McCall limped off with an ankle injury, Visagie moving to hooker. A neat chip and chase by Thorpe was gathered and moved back upfield by Luton but a pass found a Walsham player, who cut inside. Burroughes moved it wide, Thorpe accepted the long pass, shook of a weak challenge and dived in for the final score and the bonus point.

Some of the sour taste of week's defeat was erased but there is still much work to be done. Walsham will be delighted with their move up the table while Luton are quickly learning what the Vikings have known for so long - that this is an incredibly difficult league to succeed in.