The North Walsham Vikings rugby team fell to Old Albanian, 8-35.

An improved performance from the Vikings was insufficient to earn those elusive first points, Old Albanian finishing up worthy winners scoring five converted tries for their season’s fifth victory.

The Vikings were 8 – 7 ahead after the first half hour they had dominated territorially, but 14 points in the ten minutes before half-time gave the visitors a grip on the game they were never going to relinquish.

OA was shocked to find themselves behind after just a minute, Harry Langbridge the try scorer after brother Leo had made a break.

North Norfolk News: Benji Hewitt looks to start an attack in the North Walsham gameBenji Hewitt looks to start an attack in the North Walsham game (Image: Richard Polley)Play for the first 15 minutes was almost exclusively in OA’s half but the Vikings failed to create any clear scoring chances and basic errors cost them good positions. In contrast, in the 16th minute with just their third attack, OA grasped their first scoring opportunity: converted try after a catch and drove five-metre lineout.

Back bounced the Vikings, a Ross Magnus penalty regaining them the lead on the half-hour. Play was fairly even for the rest of the half but OA grabbed their two scoring opportunities. Their second try was a carbon copy of the first, then a minute before the break OA’s forwards patiently worked through series of pick and drives for a third: 8–21.

The first half was an exciting spectacle with outstanding handling but the second was different, the heavy pitch taking its toll.

The Vikings were on the defensive immediately and it was no surprise when OA got their fourth converted try after 52 minutes.

They then enjoyed a brief better spell but any momentum was short lived and the game became bogged down in a series of set pieces, mainly in their half. With ten minutes left, after sustained pressure, OA completed the scoring.

Niall Lear, Vikings' director of rugby, was frustrated and pleased equally.

He said: “OA are a good team and it was the best we’ve performed this season, but we just weren’t clinical enough and made too many errors.”

He named Hudson de Lucchi, prominent throughout offensively and defensively, as Lacons Brewery Man of the Match. Next Saturday Bury St Edmunds visit Scottow.

Match report by Paul Morse