North Walsham edged out
North Walsham 12, Dorking 14 A disappointing result for North Walsham Vikings. It was an even contest throughout, but there were few exciting passages of rugby.
North Walsham 12, Dorking 14
A disappointing result for North Walsham Vikings. It was an even contest throughout, but there were few exciting passages of rugby.
Defences reigned supreme, with both sides struggling to show any attacking flair.
Dorking turned pressure into points better and Walsham had to play the last quarter a man down when skipper Gideon Rossouw was sent off.
The visitors went ahead in the 14th minute with only their second attack.
The Vikings looked to have averted the danger with a copybook catch and drive at the line-out, but the relieving kick was charged down and the ball bounced up for Jason Geldenhuys to score. Gradually, the home side asserted some authority but they found it difficult to put together any sustained pressure.
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Too often attacks were halted by sloppy passing, penalties were wasted by missing touch, and second phase ball was slow.
After 27 minutes though it all came together and they went ahead for the only time.
Pena Sokia, who had his usual powerful game, won a line-out on Dorking's 22, the forwards drove it on and the visitors were penalised.
Stuart Loose took a quick tap and Sokia raced over, Loveridge converting.
With half-time approaching, Dorking mounted an attack and Jamie Burroughs tap tackled fly-half Matt Noble when he was racing for the line.
In the same passage of play the Vikings strayed offside and Noble slotted the penalty to give Dorking the narrowest of leads at the break.
The Vikings made two changes at half-time. Alex Soutar, returning from injury, replaced Shaun Woodhouse at prop while Young moved to fly-half for Loveridge, and Sam Rhodes came on to the wing.
After a bright start to the second half the game settled into a similar pattern, with play mainly in the middle third of the pitch.
With the final quarter approaching the visitors looked the livelier side as the penalty count against the Vikings mounted and it was no surprise when Noble made it 11-7 with his second penalty.
Five minutes later Dorking won a penalty 30 metres out on the right.
The Vikings assumed a kick to the corner only for Noble to kick left touchline where two attackers were lurking near the touchline but good tackling prevented the try.
Rossouw then said something inappropriate to the referee and a yellow card became a red as he continued talking. Noble kicked the resulting penalty.
The Vikings upped the tempo as the crowd urged them forward. Sokia and Rhodes combined well and Tom Coller made a weaving run but there was little shape to their attacks.
After a series of penalties close to the line Soutar was finally driven over out wide for a try.
The referee added seven minutes but most of it was spent in the Vikings' half and the home side had to be content with a bonus point.