Another great win for North Walsham RFC
Eton Manor 29 North Walsham 55
What a turnaround for the Vikings over the past couple of weekends.
Having lost five games on the spin since the turn of the year they suddenly find some form and soundly defeat two sides in the top half of the table, scoring 15 tries and 95 points in the process.
There is nothing magical about the turnaround. It's just that Nick Greenhall has found the combinations he wanted and with just a couple of changes has played the same squad in the last three games, which coupled with renewed confidence among the players has done the trick.
Whilst always on top at Eton Manor it took some time for the scores to come. An early setback when a chip over the top took a wicked bounce and the home winger scored under the bar was shrugged off but it was close to the end of the first quarter before skipper Andy Tibbatts scored.
With the pack winning good ball, well distributed by Hardisty and Forrester, the backs were flying and every time Chris Borrett hit the line the Manor defence was breached. Tom Coller has had all the plaudits for his lineout work but he also claimed a try with a 35 metre run in. Centre Stephen Hyde scored the third and it looked plain sailing but a penalty and converted try saw Manor on level terms at the break.
Big pressure from a lineout saw Mark McCall slide off the side of a drive to notch his sixth try of the season and the score began to mount. Forrester took a pass from Loose to dot down and centre Will Hodgson followed suit two minutes later. Lack of discipline allowed Manor to reduce the deficit but Stuart Loose pumped his ageing legs to cross the stripe.
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A defensive slip allowed Manor to score notch their final points but two tries in the last three minutes for the hard working Leon Davies and youngster Billy Graham-Park signalled the end.
n There's a break from league action on Saturday but the Vikings will still be in action in a Woodforde's Norfolk Cup semi-final against Beccles at Scottow. 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 on Saturday. He knows that he will be without a couple of key players but has the resources to fill the gaps. Among those missing will be flankers Gerald Hegarty and Chris Godwin but Chris Kent will be delighted to start, having had to come off the bench in recent weeks.
He is likely to cover for Hegarty while there could be a debut for student Seth Rodger a member of last season's successful Under 17s side. Dependent on news from the Maternity Ward Chris Hamilton will be on standby to take over from Leon Davies in the second row. Stuart Loose is another one not available but Robin Praat can fill either side of the front row and will be glad to have a start. The back line will hopefully be as it was last week. If it is and they can replicate their form of the past two weeks there could be some exciting play to watch.
The Raiders, after a week off, have secured a friendly fixture against Fakenham with a 3pm kick-off and while they might lose a couple of players to the first team bench should be able to field a strong side.