Woodforde’s Norfolk Cup: North Walsham will be focused on cup challenge
There is a break from league action tomorrow but North Walsham will still be in action in a Woodforde's Norfolk Cup semi-final against Beccles at Scottow (3).
Cup fixtures between the clubs go back to the 1983-84 season and total four meetings. Three have gone the way of the Vikings but at the semi-final stage of the 2008-9 season Beccles came out on top when Walsham, in a similar position to that which they find themselves in this season, sent a below strength side and suffered the consequences.
This time around, although the Suffolk side operate at one level below, Walsham coach Nick Greenhall will be aiming to play the bulk of the side that won in London 1N last Saturday.
He knows that he will be without a few key players but has the resources to fill the gaps. Among those missing will be flankers Gerald Hegarty and Chris Godwin and prop Stuart Loose. Robin Praat is the likely candidate to replace Loose with Dom Roberts in reserve. Chris Kent will be delighted to start, having had to come off the bench in recent weeks for Hegarty, while in place of Godwin there could be a debut for student Seth Rodger, a member of last season's U17 side.
Tim Mason will be on standby for Mark McCall who is juggling work commitments. Dependent on news from the maternity ward Chris Hamilton will be on standby to take over from Leon Davies in the second row and will be glad of a start.
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The other semi-final sees Diss playing host to near neighbours Wymondham. With Diss doing well in London 1N and the visitors struggling in London 3NE, the match looks like a home banker, although much will depend on the make-up of the two sides, while the local pride at stake should also be a factor.
• North Walsham, who each season dedicate one of their pre-match lunches to raise money for a local charity, will be continuing the practice before their game against Ruislip on Saturday week. This year the beneficiaries will be the Colonel's Appeal for wounded members of the Light Dragoons. Colonel Sam Plant will address members and guests and during the game there will be a collection.
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