Holt need to win their final three games - and then hope for the best

Pena Sokia in action for North Walsham Raiders in their 24-24 draw against Fakenham the Saturday bef

Pena Sokia in action for North Walsham Raiders in their 24-24 draw against Fakenham the Saturday before last. Picture: RICHARD POLLEY - Credit: Archant

It's now or never for Holt as they attempt to plot an unlikely escape from relegation.

The All Blacks go into the final three games of the London Two North East season effectively 13 points from safety, which means anything less than a win at home to Cantabrigian on Saturday will leave them doomed to the drop.

Such is the perilous nature of their position that Holt could also be relegated after a win, with third from bottom Ipswich in a position to send them down by recording a home victory against fellow strugglers Woodford.

All Ed Steed's side can do is try and take a maximum haul against their third placed Cambridge opponents at Bridge Road - and then see where it leaves them at the end of the day.

Holt round off their campaign with winnable games against Woodford (away) and bottom side Campion (home) - but with Ipswich also having a game against Campion coming up it would take a remarkable sequence of results to seal a great escape.

Meanwhile the penultimate road trip of the season has North Walsham heading to Hertfordshire to play Letchworth Garden City, a less than happy hunting ground for the Vikings with their four previous league meetings all having ended in defeat.

Saturday's hosts have had an average season, winning 10 and losing 12. They had been on a winning run but that came to an end when they lost by two points at Saffron Walden.

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After their hard-fought win against Eton Manor, the Vikings will have relished their week off but there has been no let-up on the training pitches, with coach James Brooks running some full on sessions working on fitness and handling.

He should have a full roster of players to pick from. Prop Johnny Masters pulled out of the Eton Manor game with a calf strain but should be good to go. Mark McCall stepped up to take his place so one could be unlucky. The back five could remain as was but flanker Ed Sampson is back from a break and Tom Coller's involvement might depend on the arrival or otherwise of his first born.

The Raiders, who had a competitive draw against league leaders Fakenham in their last game, play their final league game at Wymondham II. In recent weeks the young squad has been strengthened by the inclusion of back rowers Chris Kent and Pena Sokia.

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