North Walsham Vikings Rugby Club suffered a difficult home ground defeat to Westcombe Park 7-59.

It was a first half where the Vikings dominated possession and field position for long periods.

However they could not trouble the scoreboard operator even when Westcombe Park had a front-row player yellow carded in the 33rd minute.

Westcombe by comparison made several incisive breakouts giving them the first-half lead 0-26 ahead and the four-try bonus point.

The first Westcombe try came quickly, in the 2nd minute. After a break away from the halfway line, the ball was handed off on the 22m line for Kiernan Thompson to sweep in and score. This was converted by Nathan Wyman.

The next 20 minutes were spent mainly in and around the Westcombe 22m line.

This was a scrappy period of play for both sides.

There were misdirected passes, balls dislodged in tackles, and plain knocks on. However, the Vikings scrum was holding up well with the lineout functioning smoothly.

The Vikings crowd were feeling quite optimistic during this period.

In the second quarter, three Westcombe tries ensued.

These were from Calum Harris who after a long kick was driven over the line after 24 minutes, Kareem Swandells who was driven over after a Westcombe breakout in the 30th minute, and Joseph Ratcliffe who took a long pass on the 22m line to dive in and score just before half time.

The second half was dominated by Westcombe Park. In all, they scored five more tries from Toby Wallace (2), Rafael Lofinmakin-Dutta (2) one of them going the whole length of the pitch, and Harry Hudson

These were answered by some good drives by the Vikings. One in particular by Dan Smith took play up to Westcombe’s 5m line.

There was also the Vikings try from innovative play. The ball was chipped over the Westcombe defence and Benji Hewitt scored near the posts converted by Ross Magnus.

This try lifted the crowd for a while.

However, it was an excellent performance by Westcombe Park and a chastening 7-59 defeat for the Vikings.

After the game Vikings director of rugby Niall Lear said: “We have a great group of young players getting National League experience.

"However we have had a bad start to the season and need to get together, coaches and players, to decide how we can salvage this season. There is no magical fix.”

He named Charlie Fethney as Vikings Lacon Brewery Man of the Match.

Vikings: 15 Lucas Atherton, 14 Harry Dye, 13 Dan Smith (C), 12 Jon Younie, 11 Tawanda Kandemwa, 10 Ross Magnus, 9 Benji Hewitt, 1 Tim Weber, 2 Mark McCall, 3 Henly Brightman, 4 James Blaldwin, 5 Ethan Holmwood, 6 Billy Tait, 7 Jobe Brooks, 8 Charlie Fethney. Replacements: 16 Kit Brodie, 17 Russel Arnold, 18 Hudson de Lucci, 19 Jamie Hooker, 20 Matthew Austin.

Scorers: Tries: Benji Hewitt; Conversions: Ross Magnus

Match report by Richard Hewitt