North Walsham preparing for a big London One North match at Scottow against Thurrock

Will Catchpole marks his North Walsham Vikings debut with a try at Ruislip on Saturday afternoon. Pi

Will Catchpole marks his North Walsham Vikings debut with a try at Ruislip on Saturday afternoon. Picture: HYWEL JONES - Credit: Archant

Supporters of North Walsham will need to get behind their side on Saturday afternoon when second-placed Thurrock come to Scottow, writes Tony Marcantonio.

Although the sides are separated by three places in London One North the gap between them is just five points, or one bonus point win.

With leaders Brentwood at third placed Amersham & Chiltern Saturday presents an excellent chance for Walsham to close in on top spot and with the Scottow crowd behind them they will be doing their utmost to make that happen.

Their Essex opponents have always been a competitive outfit and having had an average time last season, finishing in 11th place, albeit 24 points clear of the relegation zone, their record this time around is so much better.

They have lost just two games, to new table-toppers Brentwood and at home to Old Priorians, in a division which has rarely been so competitive.

Just six points separate the top six sides, with Walsham standing fifth, five points behind the leaders after winning eight and losing three of their 11 fixtures so far.

Having found himself without some key players last week when the Vikings won 12-7 at Ruislip Nick Greenhall will be hoping for an easier time when he sits down to select his squad.

Most Read

Mark McCall, Chris Godwin and Shane van Vuuren all had commitments preventing them travelling and Freddie Henley-Hunter was taken ill on Friday.

If all are able to commit it should in theory make the coach's task easier.

However, he could find it difficult to fit them all in as there is now genuine competition for places.

It seems likely that new signing Will Catchpole will retain at least a place in the squad but if Godwin returns George Rossi, who travelled to Ruislip without getting off the bench, will have to wait a bit longer for his debut.

The Raiders, who notched up their sixth successive win at Diss in the cup on Saturday, revert to league action with the visit of Swaffham Pedlars.

They will kick off at 2pm with the Vikings starting at their regular time of 3pm.

n Holt will be looking to maintain an excellent run of form when they return to action after having last weekend off.

Since drawing 17-17 with Norwich on October 24 Holt have won three games on the spin to climb the table, beating Rochford Hundred 22-21, Romford and Gidea Park 10-6 and, most recently, Basildon 39-7.

As a result they have moved up to fifth in the London 2NE table, just six points adrift of leaders Diss.

Their opponents at Bridge Road on Saturday are Campion, who find themselves fourth from bottom after losing five of their eight matches so far.

Holt's two other sides are away on Saturday, the seconds to Dereham and the A XV to Watton.