Cup delight for Walsham

North Walsham U17 20, Colchester U17 5NORTH Walsham U17 capped an outstanding rugby season with a well-deserved and well-executed win over Colchester in the final of the Eastern Counties U17 Cup at Scottow on Sunday.

North Walsham U17 20, Colchester U17 5

NORTH Walsham U17 capped an outstanding rugby season with a well-deserved and well-executed win over Colchester in the final of the Eastern Counties U17 Cup at Scottow on Sunday.

It is no exaggeration to say that the game was won in the first twenty minutes when not a single point was on the board. Colchester were quickly onto the front foot and it was only strong defence that kept them at bay.

For those 20 minutes Walsham were trapped in their own half of the field and it was fortunate that the considerable number of penalties conceded were closer to the halfway line than the posts.


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However the effort expended was well worthwhile and when they at last got into the Colchester 22 they turned over a scrum, flanker Seth Rodger broke clear and prop Jan Scheijde powered over for the try.

Five minutes later with Walsham now looking on top a great break by James Crossley was halted ten metres out but skipper Harry Downing was on hand to take the final pass to double the lead.

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Early in the second half Colchester profited from some sloppy Walsham play.

Having won the ball on a Colchester throw, possession was lost in the midfield, the ball was swung to the left and the winger touched down in the corner.

From the restart play was taken straight back to the visitors and it was from some scrappy play that Walsham extended their lead when the ball came loose, was hacked on and Toby Fletcher raced in to make the touchdown.

Henry Dewing, whose kicking throughout the season has been near faultless, was having no luck with the conversions, all were near misses from wide out close to the touchlines, and he failed to convert the one penalty he would have expected to nail.

Hard though they tried, there was no way that Colchester were going to be allowed back into the game and their fate was sealed when a clearance kick was fielded 40 metres out by full-back Mark Potkins who shook off a couple of tackles and shimmied through the narrowest of gaps along the touchlines for a superb solo try and the trophy was heading for the cabinet.

There were some excellent personal performances but this win and the success of the season as a whole was due to some dedicated coaching from Mark Oakes and Ian Rees who have drilled the lads week in, week out and their response has been a credit to themselves, their coaches and North Walsham RFC.

A warm welcome is sure to be extended by the senior sides to those who have reached the age of 17 by next season.

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